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NATIONAL

NCHRP REPORT 611


COOPERATIVE
HIGHWAY
RESEARCH
PROGRAM

Seismic Analysis and Design


of Retaining Walls,
Buried Structures, Slopes,
and Embankments
TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD 2008 EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE*

OFFICERS
CHAIR: Debra L. Miller, Secretary, Kansas DOT, Topeka
VICE CHAIR: Adib K. Kanafani, Cahill Professor of Civil Engineering, University of California, Berkeley
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: Robert E. Skinner, Jr., Transportation Research Board

MEMBERS
J. Barry Barker, Executive Director, Transit Authority of River City, Louisville, KY
Allen D. Biehler, Secretary, Pennsylvania DOT, Harrisburg
John D. Bowe, President, Americas Region, APL Limited, Oakland, CA
Larry L. Brown, Sr., Executive Director, Mississippi DOT, Jackson
Deborah H. Butler, Executive Vice President, Planning, and CIO, Norfolk Southern Corporation, Norfolk, VA
William A.V. Clark, Professor, Department of Geography, University of California, Los Angeles
David S. Ekern, Commissioner, Virginia DOT, Richmond
Nicholas J. Garber, Henry L. Kinnier Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Virginia, Charlottesville
Jeffrey W. Hamiel, Executive Director, Metropolitan Airports Commission, Minneapolis, MN
Edward A. (Ned) Helme, President, Center for Clean Air Policy, Washington, DC
Will Kempton, Director, California DOT, Sacramento
Susan Martinovich, Director, Nevada DOT, Carson City
Michael D. Meyer, Professor, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta
Michael R. Morris, Director of Transportation, North Central Texas Council of Governments, Arlington
Neil J. Pedersen, Administrator, Maryland State Highway Administration, Baltimore
Pete K. Rahn, Director, Missouri DOT, Jefferson City
Sandra Rosenbloom, Professor of Planning, University of Arizona, Tucson
Tracy L. Rosser, Vice President, Corporate Traffic, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Bentonville, AR
Rosa Clausell Rountree, Executive Director, Georgia State Road and Tollway Authority, Atlanta
Henry G. (Gerry) Schwartz, Jr., Chairman (retired), Jacobs/Sverdrup Civil, Inc., St. Louis, MO
C. Michael Walton, Ernest H. Cockrell Centennial Chair in Engineering, University of Texas, Austin
Linda S. Watson, CEO, LYNX–Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority, Orlando
Steve Williams, Chairman and CEO, Maverick Transportation, Inc., Little Rock, AR

EX OFFICIO MEMBERS
Thad Allen (Adm., U.S. Coast Guard), Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard, Washington, DC
Joseph H. Boardman, Federal Railroad Administrator, U.S.DOT
Rebecca M. Brewster, President and COO, American Transportation Research Institute, Smyrna, GA
Paul R. Brubaker, Research and Innovative Technology Administrator, U.S.DOT
George Bugliarello, President Emeritus and University Professor, Polytechnic Institute of New York University, Brooklyn; Foreign Secretary,
National Academy of Engineering, Washington, DC
Sean T. Connaughton, Maritime Administrator, U.S.DOT
LeRoy Gishi, Chief, Division of Transportation, Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, DC
Edward R. Hamberger, President and CEO, Association of American Railroads, Washington, DC
John H. Hill, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator, U.S.DOT
John C. Horsley, Executive Director, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, Washington, DC
Carl T. Johnson, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administrator, U.S.DOT
J. Edward Johnson, Director, Applied Science Directorate, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, John C. Stennis Space Center, MS
David Kelly, Acting Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, U.S.DOT
Thomas J. Madison, Jr., Administrator, Federal Highway Administration, U.S.DOT
William W. Millar, President, American Public Transportation Association, Washington, DC
James S. Simpson, Federal Transit Administrator, U.S.DOT
Robert A. Sturgell, Acting Administrator, Federal Aviation Administration, U.S.DOT
Robert L. Van Antwerp (Lt. Gen., U.S. Army), Chief of Engineers and Commanding General, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Washington, DC

*Membership as of November 2008.


NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM

NCHRP REPORT 611


Seismic Analysis and Design
of Retaining Walls,
Buried Structures, Slopes,
and Embankments

Donald G. Anderson
CH2M HILL
Bellevue, WA

Geoffrey R. Martin
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
Los Angeles, CA

Ignatius (Po) Lam


EARTH MECHANICS, INC.
Fountain Valley, CA

J. N. (Joe) Wang
PARSONS BRINCKERHOFF INC.
New York, NY

Subject Areas
Bridges, Other Structures, and Hydraulics and Hydrology

Research sponsored by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration

TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD


WASHINGTON, D.C.
2008
www.TRB.org
NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY NCHRP REPORT 611
RESEARCH PROGRAM
Systematic, well-designed research provides the most effective Project 12-70
approach to the solution of many problems facing highway ISSN 0077-5614
administrators and engineers. Often, highway problems are of local ISBN: 978-0-309-11765-4
interest and can best be studied by highway departments individually Library of Congress Control Number 2008911003
or in cooperation with their state universities and others. However, the © 2008 Transportation Research Board
accelerating growth of highway transportation develops increasingly
complex problems of wide interest to highway authorities. These
problems are best studied through a coordinated program of COPYRIGHT PERMISSION
cooperative research.
Authors herein are responsible for the authenticity of their materials and for obtaining
In recognition of these needs, the highway administrators of the written permissions from publishers or persons who own the copyright to any previously
American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials published or copyrighted material used herein.
initiated in 1962 an objective national highway research program Cooperative Research Programs (CRP) grants permission to reproduce material in this
employing modern scientific techniques. This program is supported on publication for classroom and not-for-profit purposes. Permission is given with the
understanding that none of the material will be used to imply TRB, AASHTO, FAA, FHWA,
a continuing basis by funds from participating member states of the
FMCSA, FTA, or Transit Development Corporation endorsement of a particular product,
Association and it receives the full cooperation and support of the method, or practice. It is expected that those reproducing the material in this document for
Federal Highway Administration, United States Department of educational and not-for-profit uses will give appropriate acknowledgment of the source of
any reprinted or reproduced material. For other uses of the material, request permission
Transportation.
from CRP.
The Transportation Research Board of the National Academies was
requested by the Association to administer the research program
because of the Board’s recognized objectivity and understanding of
NOTICE
modern research practices. The Board is uniquely suited for this
purpose as it maintains an extensive committee structure from which The project that is the subject of this report was a part of the National Cooperative Highway
Research Program conducted by the Transportation Research Board with the approval of
authorities on any highway transportation subject may be drawn; it the Governing Board of the National Research Council. Such approval reflects the
possesses avenues of communications and cooperation with federal, Governing Board’s judgment that the program concerned is of national importance and
state and local governmental agencies, universities, and industry; its appropriate with respect to both the purposes and resources of the National Research
Council.
relationship to the National Research Council is an insurance of
The members of the technical committee selected to monitor this project and to review this
objectivity; it maintains a full-time research correlation staff of
report were chosen for recognized scholarly competence and with due consideration for the
specialists in highway transportation matters to bring the findings of balance of disciplines appropriate to the project. The opinions and conclusions expressed
research directly to those who are in a position to use them. or implied are those of the research agency that performed the research, and, while they have
been accepted as appropriate by the technical committee, they are not necessarily those of
The program is developed on the basis of research needs identified
the Transportation Research Board, the National Research Council, the American
by chief administrators of the highway and transportation departments Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, or the Federal Highway
and by committees of AASHTO. Each year, specific areas of research Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation.
needs to be included in the program are proposed to the National Each report is reviewed and accepted for publication by the technical committee according
Research Council and the Board by the American Association of State to procedures established and monitored by the Transportation Research Board Executive
Committee and the Governing Board of the National Research Council.
Highway and Transportation Officials. Research projects to fulfill these
needs are defined by the Board, and qualified research agencies are The Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, the National Research
Council, the Federal Highway Administration, the American Association of State Highway
selected from those that have submitted proposals. Administration and and Transportation Officials, and the individual states participating in the National
surveillance of research contracts are the responsibilities of the National Cooperative Highway Research Program do not endorse products or manufacturers. Trade
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object of this report.
The needs for highway research are many, and the National
Cooperative Highway Research Program can make significant
contributions to the solution of highway transportation problems of
mutual concern to many responsible groups. The program, however, is
intended to complement rather than to substitute for or duplicate other
highway research programs.

Published reports of the

NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM


are available from:

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Business Office
500 Fifth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001

and can be ordered through the Internet at:


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Printed in the United States of America
COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAMS

CRP STAFF FOR NCHRP REPORT 611


Christopher W. Jenks, Director, Cooperative Research Programs
Crawford F. Jencks, Deputy Director, Cooperative Research Programs
David B. Beal, Senior Program Officer
Eileen P. Delaney, Director of Publications
Margaret B. Hagood, Editor

NCHRP PROJECT 12-70 PANEL


Field of Design—Area of Bridges
Harry A. Capers, Jr., Arora and Associates, P.C., Lawrenceville, NJ (Chair)
Darrin Beckett, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, Frankfort, KY
Donald Dwyer, New York State DOT, Albany, NY
Ian M. Friedland, Federal Highway Administration, McLean, VA
Michael G. Katona, Gig Harbor, WA
Scott M. Olson, University of Illinois–Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL
M. “Saiid” Saiidi, University of Nevada–Reno, Reno, NV
Anoosh Shamsabadi, California DOT, Irvine, CA
Munindra Talukdar, Washington State DOT, Tumwater, WA
Jerry A. DiMaggio, FHWA Liaison
G. P. Jayaprakash, TRB Liaison

AUTHOR ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Work for the NCHRP 12-70 Project was carried out by a Project Team led by CH2M HILL of Bellevue,
Washington, with major support from Earth Mechanics, Inc. of Fountain Valley, California and Parsons
Brinckerhoff Inc. of New York City, New York. Leadership for the Project Team was provided by the fol-
lowing individuals: Dr. Donald Anderson, P.E. from CH2M HILL in Bellevue, Washington, who was the
project manager for the work; Professor Geoffrey R. Martin, P.E. from the University of Southern Cali-
fornia, who served as a Principal Investigator; Mr. Ignatius (Po) Lam, P.E. from Earth Mechanics, who
served as another Principal Investigator; and Dr. J.N. (Joe) Wang, P.E. from Parsons Brinckerhoff, who
also served as a principal investigator.
The Project included a Technical Advisory Panel that provided technical input to the Project at various
points during the project duration. The panel members included: Professor Robert Holtz, P.E. from the
University of Washington; Dr. Lee Marsh, P.E. from Berger ABAM in Federal Way, Washington; Profes-
sor Edward Kavazanjian, P.E. from Arizona State University; and Professor Tom O’Rourke, P.E. from Cor-
nell University
A number of other individuals provided important input to the project, including Mr. Tony Allen, P.E.,
Chief Geotechnical Engineer with the Washington State Department of Transportation, and Dr. Anoosh
Shamsabadi, P.E, structural research engineer with the California Department of Transportation (Cal-
trans). The practical feedback from both individuals was particularly helpful. Mr. Amir Zand and Dr.
Hubert Law from Earth Mechanics also provided major support by conducting analyses and assisting with
the development of example problems.
FOREWORD

By David B. Beal
Staff Officer
Transportation Research Board

This report provides analytical and design methods for the seismic design of retaining
walls, buried structures, slopes, and embankments. The report details the development of
the design procedures. Recommended LRFD specifications and design examples illustrat-
ing the application of the design methods and specifications are included in an Appendix.
The material in this report will be of immediate interest to roadway and bridge designers.

A comprehensive load and resistance factor design (LRFD) specification for the seismic
design of highway bridges has been developed by AASHTO. Those specifications reflect the
latest bridge design philosophies for achieving high levels of seismic performance. Because
these specifications are limited to highway bridges and components that are directly at-
tached to them, such as abutments and wing walls, they do not address new or improved
analytical methods or seismic design provisions for retaining walls, buried structures,
slopes, or embankments.
The objective of NCHRP Project 12-70 was to remove the limitations of the current spec-
ifications through the development of analytical and design methods for the seismic design
of retaining walls, buried structures, slopes, and embankments. This research was managed
by Donald Anderson, CH2M HILL, Bellevue, Washington, with the assistance of Geoffrey
Martin, University of Southern California; Po Lam, Earth Mechanics; and Joe Wang,
Parson Brinckerhoff, New York. The report fully documents the program used to develop
the design procedures.
The Final Report is organized into two volumes. Volume 1 is published here as NCHRP
Report 611. Volume 2 is available at the TRB website at http://trb.org/news/blurb_detail.
asp?id=9631.
CONTENTS

VOLUME 1 Final Report


1 Chapter 1 Introduction
1 1.1 Overall Project Objectives, Approach, and Schedule
2 1.2 Project Background
2 1.2.1 Plans for Implementing the LRFD Design Methodology
4 1.2.2 Overview of Conclusions from Initial Phase of Work
5 1.2.3 Overview of Conclusions from Second Phase of Work
7 1.2.4 Overview of Conclusions from Third Phase of Work
8 1.3 Organization of Final Report
8 1.3.1 Volume 1—Final Project Report
9 1.3.2 Volume 2—Recommended Specifications, Commentaries,
and Example Problems
10 Chapter 2 Data Collection and Review
10 2.1 Earthquake Design Basis
11 2.2 Literature Search
12 2.2.1 Key References
14 2.2.2 General Observations
15 2.3 DOT, Vendor, and Consultant Contacts
17 2.4 Conclusions
18 Chapter 3 Problems and Knowledge Gaps
18 3.1 Retaining Walls
18 3.1.1 Gravity and Semi-Gravity Walls
21 3.1.2 MSE Retaining Walls
22 3.1.3 Soil Nail Walls
22 3.2 Slopes and Embankments
22 3.2.1 Seismic Considerations for Soil Slopes
23 3.2.2 Seismic Considerations for Rock Slopes
24 3.3 Buried Structures
25 3.4 Conclusions
26 Chapter 4 Work Plan: Analytical Methodologies
26 4.1 Developments for Seismic Ground Motions
28 4.2 Developments for Retaining Walls
28 4.2.1 Generalized Limit Equilibrium Analyses
29 4.2.2 Wall Height-Dependent Seismic Coefficient
30 4.2.3 Deformation Analyses
30 4.3 Developments for Slopes and Embankments
31 4.4 Developments for Buried Structures
31 4.4.1 Analysis Procedures for TGD
33 4.4.2 Analysis Procedures for Permanent Ground Deformations (PGD)
33 4.5 Summary
35 Chapter 5 Seismic Ground Motions
35 5.1 Seismic Loading Criteria
35 5.1.1 Update to AASHTO Seismic Ground Motion Criteria
38 5.1.2 Range of Ground Shaking Levels in the United States
for Referenced Soft Rock
39 5.1.3 Variation in Spectral Shapes for Soil and Rock Sites
in WUS versus CEUS
41 5.2 Newmark Displacement Correlations
41 5.2.1 Approach for Updating Newmark Charts
41 5.2.2 Description of Ground Motion Database
42 5.2.3 Permanent Displacement Data
42 5.2.4 Microsoft Access Database
43 5.2.5 Spectral Acceleration Characteristics
43 5.2.6 Correlation between PGV and S1, PGA and M
43 5.2.7 Newmark Sliding Block Displacement Correlations
46 5.2.8 Comparison Between Correlations
48 5.2.9 Confidence Level
49 5.2.10 Design Recommendations
49 5.3 Correlation of PGV with S1
54 5.4 Conclusions
55 Chapter 6 Height-Dependent Seismic Coefficients
55 6.1 Wave Scattering Evaluations
55 6.1.1 Scattering Analyses for a Slope
63 6.1.2 Scattering Analyses for Retaining Walls
66 6.2 Conclusions
68 Chapter 7 Retaining Walls
68 7.1 Current Design Practice
71 7.2 The M-O Method and Limitations
71 7.2.1 Seismic Active Earth Pressures
73 7.2.2 Seismic Passive Earth Pressures
74 7.3 M-O Earth Pressures for Cohesive Soils
74 7.3.1 Evaluation of the Contribution from Cohesion
74 7.3.2 Results of M-O Analyses for Soils with Cohesion
75 7.3.3 Implication to Design
76 7.4 GLE Approach for Determining Seismic Active Pressures
76 7.5 Height-Dependent Seismic Design Coefficients
77 7.5.1 Evaluation of Impedance Contrasts and Soil Behavior
79 7.5.2 Results of Impedance Contrast and Nonlinearity Evaluations
81 7.6 Displacement-Based Design for Gravity, Semi Gravity, and MSE Walls
82 7.7 Conventional Gravity and Semi-Gravity Walls—Recommended
Design Method for External Stability
84 7.8 MSE Walls—Recommended Design Methods
84 7.8.1 Current Design Methodology
84 7.8.2 MSE Walls—Design Method for External Stability
87 7.8.3 MSE Walls—Design Method for Internal Stability
88 7.9 Other Wall Types
88 7.9.1 Nongravity Cantilevered Walls
91 7.9.2 Anchored Walls
93 7.9.3 Soil Nail Walls
94 7.10 Conclusions
96 Chapter 8 Slopes and Embankments
96 8.1 Types and Performance of Slopes
96 8.1.1 Engineered Slopes and Embankments
97 8.1.2 Natural Slopes
97 8.2 Current Practice
97 8.2.1 Limit Equilibrium Approach
99 8.2.2 Displacement-Based Approach
100 8.3 Proposed Design Methodology
101 8.3.1 Limit Equilibrium Approach
101 8.3.2 Displacement-Based Approach
101 8.4 Example Application
101 8.4.1 Problem Description
102 8.4.2 Results
102 8.5 Other Considerations
102 8.5.1 Limit Equilibrium Design Methods
103 8.5.2 No Analysis Cut-off
103 8.5.3 Liquefaction Potential
104 8.6 Conclusions
105 Chapter 9 Buried Structures
105 9.1 Seismic Performance of Culverts and Pipelines
105 9.2 Culvert/Pipe Characteristics
106 9.2.1 Flexible Culverts and Pipes
106 9.2.2 Rigid Culverts and Pipes
106 9.3 General Effects of Earthquakes and Potential Failure Modes
107 9.3.1 Ground Shaking
108 9.3.2 Ground Failure
108 9.4 Current Seismic Design Practice for Culverts or Other Buried Structures
109 9.5 General Methodology and Recommended Procedures
109 9.5.1 Ovaling of Circular Conduits
113 9.5.2 Racking of Rectangular Conduits
115 9.6 Parametric and Verification Analysis
115 9.6.1 Types of Structures and Other Parameters Used in Evaluation
115 9.6.2 Model Assumptions and Results
129 9.7 Conclusions and Recommendations
131 Chapter 10 Recommendations for Future Work
131 10.1 Ground Motions and Displacements
131 10.2 Retaining Walls
132 10.3 Slopes and Embankments
133 10.4 Buried Structures
133 10.5 Need for Confirming Methods
134 References
137 Appendices
1

CHAPTER 1

Introduction

This Final Report summarizes work that was carried out on • Optimizing design approaches for both routine design and
National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) special design cases using more comprehensive methods;
Project 12-70 Seismic Analysis and Design of Retaining Walls, • Avoiding hidden conservatism in design approaches;
Buried Structures, Slopes, and Embankments. This project in- • Ensuring applicability of specifications to seismic zones
volved an effort to develop analysis and design methods and nationwide, including provisions for “no seismic design”
recommended load and resistance factor design (LRFD) spec- in low seismicity regions; and
ifications for the seismic design of retaining walls, slopes and • Satisfying LRFD philosophy and providing flexibility in
embankments, and buried structures. establishing serviceability criteria.

1.1 Overall Project Objectives, The approach for the Project initially focused on data col-
Approach, and Schedule lection and review during Task 1, leading to the documentation
The overall objectives of the Project were to develop analysis of problems and knowledge gaps in Task 2. The problems and
and design methods and to prepare LRFD specifications and ex- knowledge gaps identified in Task 2 were used to recommend
ample problems for the design of retaining walls, slopes and em- analytical methodology developments in Task 3, and a detailed
bankments, and buried structures. These overall objectives were work plan in Task 4. The results of these four tasks were
intended to address short-comings in AASHTO LRFD Bridge summarized in Task 5, the first Interim Report. This phase of
Design Specifications or in some cases the absence of a recom- the work occurred within the first 9 months of the planned
mended design methodology in the LRFD Specifications. 39-month project duration.
The approach used to address these two objectives was out- Following submittal of the first Interim Report and the
lined in a Working Plan submitted by the Project Team to NCHRP Oversight Panel’s review and approval of the work
NCHRP in May of 2004. The Working Plan is based on CH2M plan described in the first Interim Report, the approved work
HILL’s proposal to NCHRP in November of 2003, with mod- plan was implemented in Task 6. An outline of the LRFD
ifications summarized in Attachment 2 of CH2M HILL’s letter specifications was prepared in Task 7, and the results of the
dated January 13, 2004, to Dr. Robert Reilly of the Transporta- analytical developments and LRFD specification outline were
tion Research Board. Also included in this Working Plan was summarized in Task 8, which was identified as the second In-
a Progress Schedule tied to the Project start date of March 29, terim Report. The submittal of the second Interim Report
2004, and a Table of Deliverables for this Project. A copy of concluded Phase 1 of the Project. The schedule for complet-
the Working Plan for the Project is included in Appendix A ing the second Interim Report was originally planned to be
to Volume 1 of this Final Report. approximately 22 months after the initiation of the Project;
Five fundamental goals were identified during the plan- however, actual work took approximately 24 months.
ning of the Project in 2004. These goals formed the basis for Phase 2 was initiated upon completion of Task 8. This
the work that was to be done during each Project activity. The phase involved Task Orders 9-12, where specifications, com-
five goals involved mentaries, and example problems were prepared and sub-
mitted to the NCHRP Oversight Panel for review. The third
• Improving existing or developing new analytical methods Interim Report provided the first draft of the specifications,
to overcome the shortcomings of existing technology, commentaries, and example problems, in accordance with
based on sound soil-structure interaction principles; the requirements of Task 10. Following receipt of comments
2

from the NCHRP Oversight Panel, Task 11 was implemented. 1.2.1.1 Factors to Consider
This task involved (1) making further modifications to the
The basic requirement for this Project is to ensure that fac-
specifications, commentaries, and example problems; (2) ad-
tored capacity exceeds factored load as defined by the following
dressing the Oversight Panel’s comments on the third Interim
equation for various limit states (or acceptable performance):
Report, and (3) and preparing a Final Report. This work was
scheduled to be completed after 35 months but took approx- φ r Rn ≥ Σγ pi Qi (1-1)
imately 39 months.
The final work activity in Phase 2 on the Project, Task 12, where
involved preparation of this Final Report and the revised spec- φr = performance factor;
ifications, commentaries, and example problems. This task Rn = nominal resistance;
was finalized in November of 2007, approximately 44 months γpi = load factor for load component I; and
following initiation of the Working Plan in April of 2004. Fol- Qi = load effect due to load component i.
lowing this submittal, an additional example problem was During the initial phase of work for this Project, the LRFD
completed, specifications and commentaries were revised, methodology was not formerly introduced. Rather, the focus
and the Final Report finalized in June 2008. of the work was on the identification and evaluation of a de-
Throughout work on each task within the Project there was sign methodology without load or resistance factors. Once the
a continuing effort to focus on the final product of the Project. methodologies were developed and approved, then an approach
This product involved a methodology that could be used in for incorporating load and resistance factors was established
areas that are both highly seismic and relatively aseismic; that relative to the recommended methodologies.
could be implemented by staff from DOTs, vendors, and con- Although work on the initial phase of work did not present
sulting firms using existing software without the need for ex- recommendations on load and resistance factors to use with
tensive training; and that “made sense” relative to observed the proposed methodologies, consideration was given by the
performance during past earthquakes. This theme was im- Project Team to how load and resistance factors might eventu-
plemented throughout the Project, from start to finish. To the ally be used during seismic design. Ideally this approach would
extent practical, this theme is followed in the presentation of build on the load and resistance factors used in the conven-
each chapter of this Draft Final Report. tional static load case presented in the current version of the
AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications.
For the static design case the appropriate load and resist-
1.2 Project Background ance factors have been developed to yield a consistent margin
of safety in the designed structure. This same logic needs to
Work on the NCHRP 12-70 Project was initiated in April
be followed for seismic loading to retaining walls, slopes and
of 2004. The following three subsections provide background
embankments, and buried structures. However, the approach
information for the work that has been accomplished. This
for defining a consistent margin of safety is more difficult to
background information includes a summary of plans for
define for the following reasons:
implementing the overall LRFD design methodology and
overviews of interim conclusions from the work performed
• The load factors and load cases (that is, on the right-
on the Project. The overview of conclusions helps provide a
hand-side of the above equation) had to be consistent with
perspective for the development work that is being summarized
those recommended by the NCHRP Project 20-07 Recom-
in subsequent chapters.
mended LRFD Guidelines for the Seismic Design of Highway
Bridges (Imbsen, 2006). At the time the NCHRP 12-70 Proj-
ect was initiated, the NCHRP 20-07 Project was establishing
1.2.1 Plans for Implementing
the appropriate earthquake loading return period—subject
the LRFD Design Methodology
to the approval of the AASHTO Highway Subcommittee
The work carried out for the NCHRP 12-70 Project must be on Bridges and Structures (HSCOBS T-3) and eventually
consistent with the philosophy and format of the AASHTO the AASHTO voting members. These recommendations
LRFD Bridge Design Specifications and the seismic provisions would result in larger loads associated with a seismic event
for highway bridges. In this philosophy, “Bridges shall be de- at a specific site relative to the then current AASHTO re-
signed for specified limit states to achieve the objectives of quirements, but the likelihood of the load occurring de-
constructibility, safety, and serviceability, with due regard to creased and would be relatively infrequent. Under this sit-
issues of inspectibility, economy, and aesthetics. . . .” In the uation use of a load factor on the seismic load was believed
LRFD procedure, margins of safety are incorporated through to be overly conservative. (The NCHRP 20-07 Project was
load (γp) factors and performance (or resistance, φr) factors. originally referred to as the NCHRP 12-49 Update Project.
3

The intent of the NCHRP 12-07 Project was to revise rec- The various limit states to be examined were categorized
ommendations given in the NCHRP 12-49 Project (NCHRP into three areas. The first involved the evaluation of the global
Report 472, 2003) for use in updating seismic provisions in stability of the overall site, which includes requirements for
the AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications. One of the slope stability and similar mechanisms. The next dealt with
key recommendations initially made by the NCHRP 20-07 the design of the foundation system for external stability (that
Project was to increase the return period for seismic design is, sliding, overturning, and bearing) to ensure that the size of
from the 500-year level in the then current (2006) LRFD the foundation and the implied geotechnical (that is, overall
specifications to a 1,000-year return period. The probability soil) capacity was sufficient. The last involved the design for
of occurrence for the 1,000-year event is approximately internal structural stability to ensure that structural compo-
7 percent in 75 years. This recommendation was approved by nents functioned properly under the increased dynamic load
AASHTO in July of 2007, at the time that the NCHRP 12-70 from the earthquake. Depending on whether a design project
Project report was being finalized.) involved a retaining wall, a slope or embankment, or a buried
• From a resistance factor standpoint, design could be per- structure, an assessment of one or more of these limit states may
formed using either a limit equilibrium or displacement- not be required. For example, the limit state for seismic design
based approach. The selection of resistance factors for these of slopes and embankments only involves global stability,
two cases will differ. For example, use of a resistance factor while the buried structure only considers internal stability.
less than 1.0 often will result in a conservative design using
limit equilibrium methods, but could lead to an unconser-
1.2.1.2 Relationship to Design Process
vative design for a displacement-based approach.
From past earthquake experience, most cases of observed
While the starting point involved use of load and resistance or postulated failures relate to intolerable structural damage,
factors equal to 1.0, in certain geographic areas and for certain as opposed to excessive overall movement, especially for
categories of design, use of a resistance factor less than 1.0 retaining walls and buried structures. These structures are
(that is, φ < 1.0) was considered for simplifying the design inherently more sensitive to movement relative to above-
process. An example of this was for the evaluation of seismic ground structures. Also, most freestanding retaining walls
stability of slopes. If a deformational approach is not taken (that is, other than bridge abutments) can undergo a signifi-
and the owner wants to base the evaluation strictly on a com- cant degree of movement without adversely impacting their
parison of soil capacity to seismic loads, the current approach intended functions.
would be to confirm that the factor of safety is greater than Therefore, the most germane LRFD design issue was to as-
1.1 to 1.2 for an acceleration coefficient of 0.5 times the peak sure structural integrity, commonly referred to as designing for
ground acceleration (PGA) at the ground surface. (Many ap- the internal stability of the earth retaining system. When de-
plications in geotechnical engineering are based on factors of signing for structural integrity, the geotechnical engineer will
safety—where the resistance of the soil is compared to the define the seismic loading criteria and conducts soil-structure
forces causing failure. When using LRFD methods for the interaction analyses, as needed, for characterizing foundation
same design, it is often more meaningful to refer to the ca- stiffness and damping parameters. The responsibility of actual
pacity to demand (C/D) ratio rather than the factor of safety. design usually falls to the structural designer. The structural en-
The use of C/D ratio also is consistent with terminology used gineer typically will bear the responsibility for conducting the
by bridge engineers. Discussions in this report will refer to structural response analyses and will make use of the recom-
C/D ratio and factor of safety interchangeably.) This same ap- mendations regarding seismic loading and foundation stiffness
proach can be taken in the context of LRFD design, but in this in a global model. The structural designer would be the one
case the resistance factor is defined by the reciprocal of the who actually goes through the LRFD design process in check-
factor of safety used, assuming that the load factor is equal to ing the structural capacity versus demand, and eventually will
1.0 for the reasons stated above. sign the structural drawings. Requirements in other sections of
With this in mind the thrust of the work was to formulate the AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications are followed
the LRFD specifications in terms of the following three when conducting structural analyses and design checks.
considerations: Note that this general approach is not always the case. For
some wall types, such as the Mechanically Stabilize Earth
1. Identifying the limit states to be considered during the (MSE) or soil nail walls, the geotechnical engineer also may be
earthquake load case. responsible for the internal stability as well. In this case the geo-
2. Defining the expected performance of the designed system technical engineer would select reinforcing or soil nail size,
for each of the limit states defined in item (1) above. and confirm that the stresses imposed by seismic loading are
3. Outlining the design analysis procedure and capacity criteria. acceptable relative to LRFD requirements.
4

Understanding the role of the geotechnical and structural withstand about 0.12g pseudo-static loading, based on a
engineers is rather important, and this Project needed to clar- very conservative capacity associated with first yield, with
ify these roles in the process of preparing the LRFD specifica- the most conservative assumption on wave scattering
tions. These roles also need to be understood in the definition (that is, 1.0 as discussed in Chapter 6), and the most con-
of load and resistance factors to use during design. Since in- servative nonyielding structural performance criteria.
dependent groups often are responsible for the design elements, 3. Under a less conservative interpretation, more suitable for
each group needs to have a basic understanding of what is correlating to historical structural damage from past earth-
being conveyed by the load or resistance factor that is being quakes, the inherent capacity is likely to be much higher, to
used for seismic design. a PGA at the ground surface as high as 0.68g. This case cor-
responds to a scattering factor (see Chapter 6) equal to 0.5,
1.2.1.3 Example of LRFD Reserve Capacity Concept and nominal yielding is allowed.
4. Even for a nonyielding limit state, a scattering factor equal
In formulating the LRFD guidelines, consideration needs
to 0.5 can be justified for most design situations, espe-
to be given to a prevalent consensus among practitioners, es-
cially for much of the central and eastern United States
pecially in state highway departments, that retaining walls,
(CEUS), where the characteristic ground shaking has
slopes and embankments, and buried structures generally have
lower, long-period ground motion content. In this situ-
performed very well during seismic events—even though many
ation the retaining wall can withstand a site-adjusted
constructed structures have not been designed for the earth-
PGA of 0.24g.
quake load case. The main reason for this relates to the fact
that the capacity of most retaining walls, slopes and embank- For the 1,000-year return period ground motion criterion
ments, and buried structures provides sufficient reserve to re- that was adopted by AASHTO in July of 2007, most regions
sist some level of earthquake loading when they are designed in the CEUS, other than the New Madrid and the Charleston
for static loading. This observation needed to be kept in mind regions, will be required to design for a PGA at the ground
when formulating the LRFD specifications in order that the surface of about 0.1g or lower. For much of the Western
proposed approach was determined to be reasonable to engi- United States (WUS), outside of California, Alaska, and the
neers using the methodology. Pacific Northwest, design would be for a PGA at the ground
As an illustration of this point, Dr. Lee Marsh, who served surface of about 0.2g. Based on the above cited reserve struc-
on the Technical Advisory Panel for the NCHRP 12-70 Project, tural capacity study, along with results from dynamic analy-
quantified the level of reserve structural capacity for a hypo- ses of retaining walls, many of the regions in the CEUS and
thetical wall, to put the design process in perspective. In the WUS can use simplifying screening criteria to eliminate the
course of a design, retaining walls are designed for global and need for overly complicated seismic analyses.
external stability (that is, the process of checking for sufficient
soil capacity for the global system), as well as for internal stress 1.2.2 Overview of Conclusions
in the structural components. Dr. Marsh conducted a set of from Initial Phase of Work
analyses to determine the reserve structural capacity for a
standard wall that had been designed for a static load condi- The initial phase of work involved Tasks 1 through 5 of the
tion. For simplicity, Dr. Marsh conducted the analyses for a Working Plan. A number of conclusions were reached in this
nongravity cantilever sheet pile wall to focus on structural in- early work, and these conclusions formed the framework for
tegrity issues, rather than involving additional complexity the work plan that was implemented in Task 6 and reported
associated with other nonstructural failure modes such as in the 1st Interim Report. Highlights from Tasks 1 through 4
sliding failure through the soil at the base of a semi-gravity are summarized here:
wall. Such mechanisms introduce an additional load fuse which
might further reduce the earthquake design load to a lower • Task 1: Data Collection and Review. The conclusions from
value than the case associated with sheet pile walls. Results of this task were that the methodologies available to design
these analyses are included in Appendix B. professionals within departments of transportation (DOTs)
The sensitivity study conducted by Dr. Marsh indicates the and consultants for the DOTs are primarily limited either
following: to pseudo-static methods, such as the Mononobe-Okabe
(M-O) method for the design of retaining structures and
1. Most existing retaining walls, even when they only are de- the limit equilibrium method of slope stability analysis, or
signed for static loading, have sufficient reserve structural ca- to simplified deformation methods (for example, New-
pacity to withstand an appreciable level of earthquake load. mark charts or analyses). Although these methods have
2. If a retaining wall has been designed to satisfy typical re- limitations, as discussed in later chapters of this Draft Final
quirements for static loading, the inherent capacity will Report, improvements in these methodologies still offer
5

the most practical approaches to seismic design. A growing – Buried Structures


trend towards the use of more rigorous modeling methods,  Simple-to-use design methods for medium-to-large-

such as the computer code FLAC (Itasca, 2007), for the size culverts and pipes under the effect of transverse
evaluation of retaining structures, slopes and embank- seismic racking deformations, taking into account
ments, and buried structures has occurred recently. While soil-structure interaction effects.
FLAC and similar software appear to provide a more rig-  Guidance on how to select transient ground defor-

orous modeling of various soil and soil-structure prob- mation (or strain) parameters for design and analysis
lems, these more numerically intensive procedures do not purposes.
 Development of a consistent and rational procedure
appear to be suitable for development of day-to-day design
methodologies required by this Project. for buried structures subject to various forms of per-
• Task 2: Problems and Knowledge Gaps. On the basis of manent ground displacement (PGD), including lat-
the work carried out for this task, primary development eral spreading, embankment slope movements or
needs were identified. These needs included common flow, and faulting.
needs that applied to all three of the Project areas (retain- • Task 3: Work Plan—Analytical Methodologies. Informa-
ing walls, slopes and embankments, and buried structures) tion from Tasks 1 and 2 was used to identify types of ana-
and area-specific developments, as summarized here: lytical methodology developments required. These devel-
– Common Needs opments resulted in work product elements shown in
 Better definition of the ground motions that should Table 1-1. This summary is a modified version of Exhibit 6
be used during design, including appropriate adjust- of the Working Plan for the NCHRP 12-70 Project.
ments for ground motion incoherency, strain ampli- • Task 4: Work Plan—Performance Strategy. A strategy for
tude, and ground motion amplification/deamplifica- accomplishing the Development of Analytical Methodolo-
tion. gies was provided in Task 4. As noted in the NCHRP re-
 Development of screening procedures that advise
search project statement, Task 4 also included the identifi-
the designer when sufficient margin exists within cation of example applications and parametric studies that
the static design to preclude the need for seismic were to be performed, including the comparison with ex-
analyses. isting methods. The performance strategy that was identi-
 Guidance on the selection of soil strength properties
fied served as a basis for the work that was conducted in
Task 6, as reported in the second Interim Report.
that should be used during seismic design.
– Retaining Walls
 Numerical procedure that avoided deficiencies in the
1.2.3 Overview of Conclusions
M-O procedure at high acceleration levels and high
from Second Phase of Work
back slope angles and that handled mixed soil (c-φ) The second phase of the work covered Tasks 6 through 8 of
conditions. The recommendation was to use either the Working Plan. This work was documented in the 2nd
wedge-based equations or a limit-equilibrium stabil- Interim Report.
ity program to determine the forces needed for seis- Work on Task 6 involved developments in the four areas
mic design. summarized below. The discussions in the following chapters
 Charts for estimating wall displacement for repre- provide details in each of these four areas of development.
sentative areas of the United States (for example,
CEUS versus WUS). • Ground Motion Parameters. Procedures for selecting
 Guidance on the selection of the seismic coefficient ground motion parameters for use in seismic design were
for limit-equilibrium and displacement-based design evaluated, and recommendations for the selection of ground
and the variation of this coefficient with wall height. motions to use in the seismic response studies were devel-
– Slopes and Embankments oped. Ground motion conditions characteristic of both
 Procedures for determining the appropriate seismic WUS and CEUS were considered during this development.
coefficient and its variation with slope height. • Retaining Walls. An approach for evaluating the behavior
 Charts for estimating displacement for representative of retaining walls during seismic events was identified, and
areas of the United States (for example, CEUS versus evaluations of this approach were carried out. This approach
WUS). (These charts are the same as those used for considered the global stability of walls, as well as the forces to
estimating the displacement of conventional rigid be used in structural design. Various types of retaining walls
gravity walls.) were considered during this evaluation, including semi-
 Procedures for introducing the effects of liquefaction. gravity, nongravity cantilever (for example, sheet pile and
 Procedures for treating rock slopes. soldier pile), MSE, anchored, and soil nail walls.
6

Table 1-1. Proposal for work product elements.

Type of Investigation Purpose Methods or Concepts

Evaluate Suitability of Limit Offer to end users the means for Examples showing evaluation of
Equilibrium Computer Program based improved methodology for establishing seismic earth pressures based on
on Method of Slices for Determination design seismic earth pressure readily available limit equilibrium
of Lateral Earth Pressures magnitudes for mixed soil conditions, computer programs for representative
steep backslopes, and high ground wall types (gravity, nongravity,
motions. anchored, MSE, nail), including
comparisons to existing chart
solutions.

Analyses of MSE Walls Develop revised design methodology A single integrated design method
for MSE walls based on limit equilibrium computer
programs is envisaged

Analyses to Develop Design Charts Provide a rational basis for selecting Separate charts or equations for
for Estimating Height-Dependent seismic coefficient as a function of WUS and CEUS earthquakes
Seismic Coefficient both wall height and slope height for
different soil conditions

Analyses to Update Design Charts for This design chart will provide end Methodology that accounts for
Estimating Slope and Wall Movement users the means of estimating slope differences in WUS and CEUS
Displacements and wall movements as a function of earthquakes
yield acceleration, PGA, and PGV.

Analyses to Develop Design Provide design guidance and Design approaches for rigid
Approaches for Permanent and specifications culverts/pipelines and one for flexible
Transient Ground Deformation for culverts/pipelines
Culverts and Pipelines

• Slopes and Embankments. Methods for evaluating the seis- the information might be incorporated within the context of
mic stability of natural slopes and constructed embankments the existing LRFD specifications.
were identified and reviewed. A deformation-based approach Task 8, which involved preparation of the second Interim
for evaluating the seismic performance of slopes and em- Report, completed the second phase of the work. The second
bankments was developed based on the ground motion Interim Report was submitted to NCHRP for review by the
parameters established for the Project. NCHRP Oversight Panel. Comments and suggestions from
• Buried Structures. Procedures for evaluating the response the NCHRP Oversight Panel were subsequently discussed
of buried pipelines and culverts during seismic loading also during a meeting between the Oversight Panel and the Project
were identified and evaluated. These procedures were ex- Team in May of 2006.
tended from an approach used to evaluate the seismic per- The levels of effort for the four areas of development were not
formance of large-diameter, vehicular tunnels. Both the equal. More priority was placed on topics where the risk was
transient and permanent movements of the ground were considered highest during seismic events, as summarized below:
considered in these evaluations. The types of buried pipelines
ranged from flexible materials to rigid pipelines. Vehicle • Retaining Walls. This topic was assigned the highest pri-
tunnels are not considered. ority, as problems associated with the design of retaining
walls, and in particular the use of the Mononobe-Okabe
Results of the work on Task 6 constituted the majority of equations, is a continued source of uncertainty for design-
work completed in this phase. However, the work also included ers. Part of the reason for assigning this topic the highest
an outline for the LRFD specifications, designated as Task 7 priority is the potential consequences of retaining wall fail-
within the Working Plan. The objective of Task 7 was to outline ures during a seismic event. Retaining wall damage and oc-
a methodology for implementing the recommended approach casionally failures after earthquakes have been observed, and
to seismic design in a format similar to that used within the the repair of these walls can be time consuming and costly.
current LRFD specifications. This outline built on the then cur- Finally, the category of retaining walls involves a number of
rent (2005 and 2006) AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifica- different cases, ranging from gravity to anchored walls. The
tions where possible. However, some of the topics addressed seismic response of these cases differs in the way that seismic
during this Project were not covered within the existing LRFD demands develop within the wall, as well as the manner
specifications. For these cases suggestions were made on how that these demands are resisted.
7

• Slopes and Embankments. This topic was assigned a lower problems. Results of this work were summarized in the third
priority for several reasons. First, many times the seismic Interim Report.
design of slopes and embankments is ignored, as the cost of Specifications and commentaries were presented in three
mitigating potential problems is often far more than the cost sections:
of repairing damage after an earthquake. A second reason
is the factor of safety (FS) used for the static design of slopes • Section X: Retaining Walls. This section provided proposed
(for example, FS = 1.3 to 1.5 for permanent slopes) is often specifications and commentaries for six types of retaining
observed to be sufficient to cover stability during small to walls: (1) rigid gravity and semi-gravity (conventional)
medium seismic events (where liquefaction is not an issue). walls, (2) nongravity cantilever walls, (3) anchored walls,
Finally, failure of a slope often involves minimal risk to the (4) mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) walls, (5) prefabri-
highway users and the failed slope can usually be quickly cated modular walls, and (6) soil nail walls. With the excep-
repaired. tion of soil nail walls, design methods for gravity loads for
• Buried Structures. This topic is given a lower priority pri- each of these wall types were covered within the current
marily because the consequences of failure are often limited. AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications.
Nevertheless, the current AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design • Section Y: Slopes and Embankments. This section pro-
Specifications is deficient in that no guidelines are provided, vided proposed specifications and commentaries for the
even for those designers who might want to consider seismic seismic design of slopes and embankments. The specifica-
loading. tions covered natural slopes and engineered fills. A method-
ology for addressing sites with liquefaction potential was
One of the other important considerations during the sec- included in the specifications. Current AASHTO LRFD
ond phase of work was developments that were occurring in Bridge Design Specifications do not provide specific guid-
the area of ground motions. At the time of the work, current ance on the methods used to evaluate the stability of slopes
AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications (2006) provided under gravity and live loads. In this case the specifications
guidance on the determination of ground motions required and commentaries used the standard of geotechnical prac-
for design; however, the guidance was being modified as part tice as the starting point for design.
of a separate NCHRP project to update the current LRFD • Section Z: Buried Structures. This section covered the
seismic provisions. This work was being performed within seismic design of culverts and drainage pipes. The discus-
NCHRP 20-07 Project being conducted by Imbsen & Associates sion focused on the design for transient ground displace-
(Imbsen, 2006). Part of the recommended update involved ments (TGD) and included mention of the requirements
changing from the then current 500-year earthquake (that is, for design for PGD. Generally, the ability of the culvert or
10 percent probability of occurrence in 50 years) to a 1,000 year drainage pipe to withstand PGD depends on the amount
design basis (approximately 7 percent in 75 years). (Various of permanent ground movement that occurs during the
probabilities of occurrence are associated with the nominal seismic event. Procedures given in Section Y provide a
1,000-year return period. For a 75-year exposure period, the means for estimating these displacements. Culverts and
exceedance probability is approximately 7 percent. This ex- drainage pipes will generally move with the ground; there-
ceedance probability is also approximately 5 percent for a fore, movement of more than a few inches to a foot will
50-year exposure period.) Included within the proposed up- often damage the pipe or culvert.
date was a focus on using the spectral acceleration at 1 second
(S1) as a basic proxy for ground motion. Realizing the plans Also included within the third Interim Report were (1) an
within the NCHRP 20-07 Project, as well as a fundamental appendix presenting charts for estimating seismic active and
need for velocity information for some of the methodologies passive earth pressure coefficients that included the contri-
being proposed as part of the NCHRP 12-70 Project, a signif- butions from cohesion and (2) an appendix summarizing the
icant focus was given to the development of a set of rational design of nongravity cantilever walls using a beam-column
ground motion parameters to use during the seismic design displacement method.
and analysis of retaining walls, slopes and embankments, and Contents of the third Interim Report were reviewed with the
buried structures. NCHRP 12-70 Oversight Panel. The focus of the panel discus-
sions was on the organization of the specifications and the ex-
ample problems that needed to be completed to support the
1.2.4 Overview of Conclusions
development of the specifications. This feedback was used to
from Third Phase of Work
modify the specifications and commentaries and to update the
The third phase of work involved Tasks 9 and 10: the de- example problems. A fourth Interim Report was prepared to
velopment of specifications, commentaries, and example document this information. The NCHRP Oversight Panel
8

provided comments on the fourth Interim Report, and view of the seismic loading criteria developed for the Project.
these comments have been addressed where possible in this This discussion also covers information on the ground
Final Report. motion revisions being proposed at the time (and since
adopted) to the current AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Spec-
1.3 Organization of Final Report ifications, the range of ground shaking levels that new seis-
mic maps show, and the variation in response spectra
This Final Report is organized into two volumes. The first between WUS and CEUS. The review of seismic loading cri-
volume, titled Final Report, is a compilation of information teria is followed by summaries of (1) the Newmark dis-
presented previously in the first, second, third, and fourth placement correlations that were developed and (2) the cor-
Interim Reports; it is published as NCHRP Report 611. The relation between peak ground velocity (PGV) and spectral
second volume, titled Recommended Specifications, Com- acceleration at one second (S1). Information in this chapter
mentaries, and Example Problems, presents the proposed serves as basic input data for the following studies.
specifications, commentaries, and example problems for • Chapter 6—Height-Dependent Seismic Coefficient involves
the retaining walls, slopes and embankments, and buried a summary of the results of the height-dependent seismic
structures. coefficient that was developed for use in the analysis of re-
taining walls, as well as slopes and embankments. This sum-
1.3.1 Volume 1—Final Project Report mary covers effects of ground motion incoherency, referred
to as wave scattering analyses, for slopes and for retaining
This volume has 10 chapters following Chapter 1 Introduc- walls, and it provides guidance on the intended application
tion. These chapters were taken from interim reports prepared
of the scattering solutions.
as the Project was completed. The Draft Final Report serves as • Chapter 7—Retaining Walls describes the current design
documentation for the work as it was being performed during
process, including the use of the Mononobe-Okabe equa-
the Project and provides the basis for information presented in
tions and the limitations of this approach. This discussion
the recommended specifications, commentaries, and example
is followed by a summary of the potential effects of cohe-
problems.
sive soil content on seismic earth pressures estimated by
the Mononobe-Okabe method and a generalized limit-
• Chapter 2—Data Collection and Review summarizes re-
equilibrium approach for determining seismic active earth
sults from the literature review for the three principal areas
pressures. The next discussions cover results of a study of
of development (that is, retaining walls, slopes and em-
impedance contrasts and nonlinear effects on seismic design
bankments, and buried structures). This summary includes
coefficients and the use of a displacement-based design ap-
conclusions reached from discussions with individuals rep-
resenting selected DOTs, vendors, and consultants regard- proach for gravity, semi-gravity, and MSE walls. The chapter
ing the availability of seismic design guidelines for each of concludes with specific comments on the design of gravity
the three principal areas of development. and MSE walls and some general guidance on the design of
• Chapter 3—Problems and Knowledge Gaps involves a dis- nongravity cantilever, anchored, and soil nail walls.
• Chapter 8—Slopes and Embankments reviews the current
cussion of knowledge gaps and problems associated with
current design methodologies for each of the three areas. approach used for the seismic design of slopes and em-
These knowledge gaps and problems were identified on the bankments. This review is followed by a recommended
basis of the literature review and discussions with repre- displacement-based approach for evaluating seismic sta-
sentatives from DOTs, vendors, and other consultants bility. The recommended approach provided a basis for
summarized in Chapter 2, as well as the Project Team’s ex- developing screening methods where no analysis is re-
perience on related retaining wall, slope and embankment, quired or where a factor of safety approach is preferred.
and buried structure projects in seismically active areas. • Chapter 9—Buried Structures covers the recommended
• Chapter 4—Work Plan: Analytical Methodologies describes approach for the TGD design of buried pipes and culverts.
the work plan for developing analytical methodologies that The discussions in this chapter review the general effects of
was recommended for addressing the knowledge gaps and earthquake loading and the potential failure modes. A brief
problems outlined in Chapter 3. The proposed analytical summary of the seismic design practice is given, and then
methodologies included development of methods for quan- the proposed methodology is defined. This methodology
tifying the determination of seismic demand, as well as the covers ovaling of circular conduits, racking of rectangular
methods used to determine the capacity during seismic load- conduits, and then results of a series of parametric and ver-
ing for each area of development. ification studies.
• Chapter 5—Seismic Ground Motions summarizes results • Chapter 10—Recommendations for Future Work summa-
from the ground motion studies. These results include a re- rizes a number of topics not resolved during the Project
9

and are believed to warrant further study. These topics in the specifications and commentaries and used in the ex-
range from identification of methods for quantifying the ample problems were developed as the specifications, com-
amount of cohesion that can be counted on during design mentaries, and example problems were being completed.
to methods for describing the liquefaction strength of soils This work occurred after the completion of work described in
located beneath embankments. Volume 1.
• Chapter 11—References lists the references used during
the Project. • Specifications and Commentaries summarize the recom-
mended specifications and commentaries after revisions to
This report also includes a number of appendices with sup- address (1) the NCHRP Oversight Panel’s comments on
porting documentation for the work presented in Chapters 2 drafts of the specifications and commentaries and (2) mod-
through 9. ifications made by the Project Team after completing ex-
ample problems. Some topics such as slope stability did not
currently have an independent section or subsection within
1.3.2 Volume 2—Recommended
the AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications, but rather
Specifications, Commentaries,
were scattered within the various sections. The approach
and Example Problems
for including the work developed during the NCHRP 12-70
This volume includes recommended specifications, com- Project became, therefore, more of a challenge.
mentaries, and example problems as summarized below. The • Example Problems show the steps necessary to complete a
background for some, but not all, of the methods described seismic design following the methods proposed for this
in Volume 2 is included in Volume 1. Some methods outlined Project.
10

CHAPTER 2

Data Collection and Review

The goal of Task 1 of the NCHRP 12-70 Project was to col- tions will vary depending on the function of the retaining wall,
lect, review, and interpret relevant practice, performance data, slope and embankment, or buried structure.
research findings, and other information needed to establish With the exception of California, the standard approach
a starting point for subsequent phases of the Project. The work within AASHTO at the time of the NCHRP 12-70 Project
performed within this task included review of the current sta- involved use of a 500-year design earthquake (that is, approx-
tus the NCHRP 20-07 Project; literature searches; and con- imately 10 percent chance of exceedance in a 50-year period).
tacts with individuals involved in the seismic design of retain- Individual states could adopt more stringent requirements
ing walls, slopes and embankments, and buried structures. for critical bridges. For example, the design basis used by the
Realizing that the final product for the Project needed to be a Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT) for
set of specifications that can be implemented by practicing the new Tacoma Narrows Bridge was 2,500 years (that is,
engineers, the focus of this task was on the identification of approximately 2 percent probability of exceedance in 50 years),
approaches or ideas that could be implemented on a day-to- as this bridge was considered a critical structure. Under the
day basis by practicing engineers, rather than highly rigor- standard design approach, the structure (normally a bridge
ous or numerically intensive methods that would be more and its related abutment and wing walls) was designed to
suited for special studies. The results of this data collection withstand the forces from the design earthquake without
and review task are summarized in four sections consisting collapse, albeit damage could require demolition following
of discussion of the earthquake design basis, key observa- the design event.
tions from the literature review, results of contacts with var- The NCHRP 12-49 Project (NCHRP Report 472, 2003)
ious individuals engaged in design, and a summary of con- attempted to increase the minimum design basis within
clusions reached from this phase of the Project. Although AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications to a 2,500-year
this task was largely complete early in the Project, limited return period for the collapse-level event. The 2,500-year
data collection and review continued throughout the dura- return period event has approximately a 2 percent probabil-
tion of the Project. ity of exceedance in 50 years. However, the recommended
increase was not adopted for several reasons, including the
potential cost of designing for the longer return period and a
2.1 Earthquake Design Basis
concern about the complexity of the recommended design
One of the key requirements for this Project was the deter- process. A follow-up effort was undertaken by Dr. Roy
mination of an earthquake design basis. The earthquake design Imbsen of Imbsen & Associates to modify the previous NCHRP
basis was important because it defined the level of ground 12-49 work, referred to as the NCHRP 20-07 Project (Imbsen,
motion that will occur at a site. The level of ground motion 2006). As part of this effort, the design return period was
creates the “demand” side of the basic LRFD equation. As reconsidered. A consensus was reached by Dr. Imbsen and
the earthquake design basis increases, the demand (or load) the AASHTO Highway Subcommittee on Bridges and Struc-
increases; and the capacity of the foundation needs to be pro- tures on the earthquake design basis for both new and retro-
portionately larger to limit displacements and forces to accept- fitted structures. This consensus involved a single level design
able levels. The earthquake design basis also established the with a return period of 1,000 years.
performance expectations—for example, the amount of dis- The decision on the design return period established a basis
placement that was acceptable. These performance expecta- for determining the approach to seismic design for the NCHRP
11

12-70 Project. Specifically, ground motions associated with the basis also needed to be considered by the NCHRP 12-70 Proj-
1,000-year return period could be used to identify the following: ect or at least be coordinated with future work being done to
implement the NCHRP 20-07 Project recommendations:
• Geographic areas that will not require special seismic design
studies. For these areas there will be enough margin in the • The shape of the spectrum to be used for design. Significant
static design of retaining walls, slopes and embankments, differences in spectral shapes occur between CEUS and
and buried structures to accommodate seismic loading, WUS. These differences in spectral shape affect soil response
unless special conditions (such as liquefaction) occur. in terms of either peak spectral acceleration or time histories
• The type of analyses that will be required in more seismically from which design computations or response analyses are
active areas. For example, the decrease from the 2,500-year conducted. The previous AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design
return period proposed in the NCHRP 12-49 Project to the Specifications made no distinction between spectral shapes
1,000-year return period resulted in smaller increases in within the CEUS and WUS. The updated maps use the
ground motions. This meant that nonlinear behavior of soil USGS Seismic Hazard Maps for a 1,000-year return period,
was not as significant in any proposed design methodology thereby accounting for differences in spectral shape of
as it would have been for the original NCHRP 12-49 Project characteristic earthquakes in CEUS versus WUS.
recommendations. • The method of introducing site effects on the rock motions
developed for the 1,000-year earthquake return periods. The
Another important recommendation made as part of the former site categories in the AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design
NCHRP 20-07 Project was to follow an NCHRP 12-49 recom- Specifications were too qualitative in description to allow
mendation to use the spectral acceleration from a response consistent use. The new site factors followed recommenda-
spectrum at 1 second (S1), rather than the PGA, as the param- tions given in the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s
eter for defining the seismic performance category. The spec- (FEMA) National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program
tral acceleration at 1 second was used for determining both the (NEHRP) reports and the International Building Code
level of and the requirement for design analyses. Part of the (IBC) documents, similar to what was recommended by
motivation for this change was the observation that damage the NCHRP 12-49 Project and consistent with South Car-
olina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) guidelines
during earthquakes was better correlated to S1 than to PGA.
prepared by Imbsen & Associates.
By adopting S1 as the parameter for determining the level of
• Performance expectation for the retaining walls, embank-
and the requirements for design, the region where the thresh-
ments and slopes, and buried structures under the 1,000-year
old of seismic demand would be sufficiently low to avoid the
event. For this event the amount of acceptable deformation
need for specialized seismic demand analyses increased. There
depended on factors such as the potential consequences of
have been significant developments in the seismological com-
the deformation (that is, to the retaining wall, roadway
munity in the past 10 years which concluded that the seismo-
embankment or cut slope, or culvert), the potential need for
logical environment in CEUS differs from WUS in regards to
and cost of repair, and the additional design requirements
the long-period content of earthquake ground shaking. For
associated with the performance evaluation. A single set of
the same PGA, ground motion records from CEUS have much design guidelines that captured all of these factors was not
lower shaking intensity at longer periods of ground motion. easily developed.
The choice of using spectral acceleration at 1 second held the
potential for minimizing the need for dynamic response
analyses for many transportation structures. 2.2 Literature Search
In order to simplify integration of the results of the NCHRP Literature reviews were conducted for the three primary
12-70 Project with future editions of the AASHTO LRFD technical areas of the Project: retaining walls, slopes and
Bridge Design Specifications, developments resulting from the embankments, and buried structures. The goal of the literature
NCHRP 20-07 Project served as the basis when formulating review was to do the following:
analysis requirements for retaining walls, slopes and embank-
ments, and buried structures. The relevant analysis require- • Identify the state-of-the practice in each of the areas of
ments included typical levels of ground shaking and spectral consideration,
shapes for WUS and CEUS, which then defined the demand • Understand the basis for the methods being applied,
requirements for completing the design of retaining walls, including their assumptions and limitations,
slopes and embankments, and buried structures. • Investigate alternative approaches that might be adopted
While the preliminary decision on return period addressed during the development of analytical methodologies,
one critical design need for the NCHRP 12-70 Project, the • Establish some of the desirable features of analytical meth-
following additional changes regarding the earthquake design ods that should be considered for development, and
12

• Develop a list of potential example problems that could be – Caltabiano, S., E. Cascone, and M. Maugeri. “Sliding
used during validation studies and preparation of design Response of Rigid Retaining Walls.” In Earthquake
examples. Geotechnical Engineering: Proceedings of the Second Inter-
national Conference on Earthquake Geotechnical Engi-
neering; Lisbon, Portugal, 21–25 June 1999, Rotterdam:
2.2.1 Key References
A. A. Balkema, 1999.
The literature review consisted of collecting and evaluating – Cardosa, A. S., M. Matos Fernandes, and J. A. Mateus
information already available to the Project Team, as well as de Brito. “Application of Structural Eurocodes to Grav-
electronic literature searches. One of the most effective search ity Retaining Wall Seismic Design Conditioned by Base
mechanisms was through use of Quakeline®, the search Sliding.” In Earthquake Geotechnical Engineering: Pro-
mechanism identified in the Multidisciplinary Center for ceedings of the Second International Conference on Earth-
Earthquake Engineering Research (MCEER) Center’s website quake Geotechnical Engineering; Lisbon, Portugal, 21–25
(http://mceer.buffalo.edu/utilities/quakeline.asp). June 1999, Rotterdam: A. A. Balkema, 1999.
More than 140 abstracts have been downloaded and – Cascone, E. and M. Maugeri. “On the Seismic Behav-
reviewed in the area of retaining walls dating from the past ior of Cantilever Retaining Walls.” In Proceedings of
10 years, more than 130 for seismic response of slopes and the 10th European Conference on Earthquake Engi-
embankments, and more than 50 references for seismic neering; Vienna, Austria, 28 August-2 September 1994,
response of pipelines and culverts. Copies of papers and Rotterdam: A. A. Balkema, 1995.
reports were obtained for those references that appeared to – Choukeir, M., I. Juran, and S. Hanna. “Seismic Design of
contain unique information or results that are particularly Reinforced-Earth and Soil Nailed Structures.” Ground
relevant to the Project objectives. As noted in the intro- Improvement, Vol. 1, pp. 223–238, 1997.
ductory paragraph to this chapter, this phase of the Project – Chugh, A. K. “A Unified Procedure for Earth Pressure
focused on references that could be used directly or indi- Calculations.” In Proceedings of the 3rd International
rectly to develop methodologies that could be implemented Conference on Recent Advances in Geotechnical Earth-
by practicing engineers. quake Engineering and Soil Dynamics, St. Louis, 1995.
Some of the representative relevant articles and reports – FHWA. “Manual for Design & Construction Monitor-
identified are summarized below.
ing of Soil Nail Walls.” U.S. Department of Trans-
portation, Federal Highway Administration, Publica-
• Retaining Walls
tion No. FHWA-SA-96-069R, Revised October, 1998.
– “Analysis and Design of Retaining Structures Against
– FHWA. “Mechanically Stabilized Earth Walls and
Earthquakes.” Geotechnical Special Publication No. 80,
Reinforced Soil Slopes Design & Construction Guide-
ASCE, November, 1996.
– Ausilio, E., E. Conte, and G. Dente. “Seismic Stability lines.” U.S. Department of Transportation Federal High-
Analysis of Reinforced Slopes.” Soil Dynamics and Earth- way Administration, National Highway Institute, Office
quake Engineering, Vol. 19, No. 3, pp. 159–172, April 2000. of Bridge Technology, Publication No. FHWA-NHI-00-
– Bathurst, R. J., M. C. Alfaro, and K. Hatami. “Pseudo- 043, March 2001.
Static Seismic Design of Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil – Green, R. A., C. G. Olgun, R. M. Ebeling, and W. I.
Retaining Structures.” Asia Conference on Earthquake Cameron. “Seismically Induced Lateral Earthquake
Engineering, Manila, Philippines, Vol. 2, pp. 149–160, Pressures on a Cantilever Retaining Wall.” In Advancing
March 2004. Mitigation Technologies and Disaster Response for Life-
– Bathurst, R. J. and Z. Cai. “Pseudo-Static Seismic line Systems: Proceedings of the Sixth U.S. Conference and
Analysis of Geosynthetic-Reinforced Segmental Retain- Workshop on Lifeline Earthquake Engineering (TCLEE
ing Walls.” Geosynthetics International, Vol. 2, No. 5, 2003), ASCE, Reston, VA, 2003.
pp. 787–830, 1995. – Lazarte, C. A., V. Elias, D. Espinoza, and P. Sabatini. “Soil
– Bathurst, R. J. and K. Hatami. “Seismic Response Nail Walls.” Geotechnical Engineering, Circular No. 7,
Analysis of a Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil Retaining March 2003.
Wall.” Geosynthetics International, Vol. 5, Nos. 1&2, – Ling, H. I. “Recent Applications of Sliding Block The-
pp. 127–166, 1998. ory to Geotechnical Design.” Soil Dynamics and Earth-
– Bathurst, R. J., K. Harami, and M. C. Alfaro. “Geosyn- quake Engineering, Vol. 21, No. 3, pp. 189–197, April
thetic Reinforced Soil Walls and Slopes: Seismic Aspects.” 2001.
(S. K. Shukla Ed.): Geosynthetics and Their Applications, – Ling, H. I., D. Leschinsky, and N. S. C. Nelson. “Post-
(2002) Thomas Telford Ltd., London, UK, pp. 327–392, Earthquake Investigation on Several Geosynthetic-
November 2004. Reinforced Soil Retaining Walls and Slopes during the
13

Ji-Ji Earthquake of Taiwan.” Soil Dynamics and Earth- • Slopes and Embankments
quake Engineering, Vol. 21, pp. 297–313, 2001. – ASCE/SCEC. “Recommended Procedures for Imple-
– Ling, H. I., D. Leschinsky, and E. B. Perry. “Seismic mentation of DMG Special Publication 117 Guidelines
Design and Performance of Geosynthetic-Reinforced Soil for Analyzing Landslide Hazards in California.” February
Structures.” Geotechnique, Vol. 47, No. 5, pp. 933–952, 2002.
1997, Earthquake Engineering and Soil Dynamics, – Ashford, S. A. and N. Sitar. “Seismic Coefficients for
St. Louis, 1997. Steep Slopes.” Proceedings of the 7th International Con-
– Michalowski, R. L. and L. You. “Displacements of ference on Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering,
Reinforced Slopes Subjected to Seismic Loads.” Journal pp. 441–448, 1995.
of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, – Dickenson, S. E., N. J. McCullough, M. G. Barkau, and
ASCE, Vol. 126, No. 8, pp. 685–694, August 2000. B. J. Wavra. “Assessment and Mitigation of Lique-
– Nova-Roessig, L. and N. Sitar. “Centrifuge Studies of faction Hazards to Bridge Approach Embankments in
the Seismic Response of Reinforced Soil Slopes.” Pro- Oregon.” Prepared for the Oregon Department of
ceedings of the 3rd Geotechnical Earthquake Engineer- Transportation and Federal Highways Administration,
ing and Soil Dynamics Conference, Special Publication November 2002.
No. 75, ASCE, Vol. 1, pp. 458–468, 1998. – Leshchinsky, D. and K. San. “Pseudo-Static Seismic
– Peng, J. “Seismic Sliding and Tilting of Retaining Walls Stability of Slopes: Design Charts.” Journal of Geotechni-
in Kobe Earthquake.” M.S. Thesis, State University of cal Engineering, ASCE, Vol. 120, No. 9, pp. 1514–1532,
New York at Buffalo, August 1998. September 1994.
– Prakash, S. and Y. M. Wei. “On Seismic Displacement of – Ling, H. I. “Recent Applications of Sliding Block Theory
Rigid Retaining Walls.” Proceedings of the 3rd Interna- to Geotechnical Design.” Soil Dynamics and Earth-
tional Conference on Recent Advances in Geotechnical quake Engineering, Vol. 21, No. 3, pp. 189–197, April
Earthquake Engineering and Soil Dynamics, St. Louis, 2001.
1995. – Loukidis, D., P. Bandini, and R. Salgado. “Stability of
– Sakaguchi, M. “A Study of the Seismic Behavior of Seismically Loaded Slopes Using Limit Analysis.” Geo-
Geosynthetic Walls in Japan.” Geosynthetic International, technique, Vol. 53, No. 5, pp. 463–479, June 2003.
Vol. 3, No. 1, pp. 13–30, 1996. – Martin, G. “Evaluation of Soil Properties for Seismic
– Sarma, S. K. “Seismic Slope Stability—The Critical Stability Analyses of Slopes.” Stability and Performance
Acceleration.” Proceedings of the 2nd International of Slopes and Embankments II: Proceedings of a Spe-
Conference on Earthquake Geotechnical Engineering, cialty Conference Sponsored by the Geotechnical Divi-
Lisbon, Vol. 3, pp. 1077–1082, 1999. sion of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Vol. 1,
– Seco e Pinto, P. S. “Seismic Behavior of Gravity Retain- pp. 116–142, 1992.
ing Structures.” In Earthquake Geotechnical Engineer- – Munfakh, G. and E. Kavazanjian. “Geotechnical Earth-
ing: Proceedings of IS-Tokyo ‘95, The First International quake Engineering, Reference Manual.” Federal High-
Conference on Earthquake Geotechnical Engineer- way Administration, National Highway Institute, 1998.
ing; Tokyo, 14–16 November 1995, Rotterdam: A. A. – Rogers, J. D. “Seismic Response of Highway Embank-
Balkema, 1995. ments.” In Transportation Research Record 1343, TRB,
– Simonelli, A. L. “Earth Retaining Wall Displacement National Research Council, Washington, D.C., 1992,
Analysis under Seismic Conditions.” Proceedings of pp. 52–62.
the 10th European Conference on Earthquake Engi- – Sarma, S. K. “Seismic Slope Stability—The Critical
neering; Vienna, Austria, 28 August-2 September 1994, Acceleration.” Proceedings of the 2nd International
Rotterdam: A. A. Balkema, 1995. Conference on Earthquake Geotechnical Engineering,
– Tatsuoka, F., M. Tateyama, and J. Koseki. “Behavior of Lisbon, Vol. 3, pp. 1077–1082, 1999.
Geogrid-Reinforced Soil Retaining Walls During the – Simonelli, A. “Displacement Analysis in Earth Slope
Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake.” Proceedings of the Design Under Seismic Conditions.” Soil Dynamics and
1st International Symposium on Earthquake Geotech- Earthquake Engineering VI, pp. 493–505, 1993.
nical Engineering, K. Ishihara, ed., Tokyo, pp. 55–60, – Simonelli, A. and E. Fortunato. “Effects of Earth Slope
1995. Characteristics on Displacement Based Seismic Design.”
– Tufenkjian, M. R. and M. Vucetic. “Seismic Stability of Proceedings of the 11th World Conference on Earthquake
Soil Nailed Excavations.” Civil Engineering Depart- Engineering, CD-ROM-1017, 1996.
ment, UCLA School of Engineering and Applied Sci- – Simonelli, A. and C. Viggiano. “Effects of Seismic Motion
ence, June 1993. Characteristics on Earth Slope Behavior.” 1st Inter-
14

national Conference on Earthquake Geotechnical Engi- – O’Rourke, T. D. “An Overview of Geotechnical and
neering, pp. 1097–1102, 1995. Lifeline Earthquake Engineering.” Geotechnical Special
– Stewart, J. P., T. F. Blake, and R. A. Hollingsworthe. Publication No. 75—Geotechnical Earthquake Engineer-
“A Screen Analysis Procedure for Seismic Slope Stabil- ing and Soil Dynamics III, ASCE, Vol. 2, 1999.
ity.” Earthquake Spectra, Vol. 19, Issue 3, pp. 697–712, – O’Rourke, T. D., S. Toprak, and Y. Sano. “Factors
August 2003. Affecting Water Supply Damage Caused by the North-
– Wahab, R. M. and G. B. Heckel. “Static Stability, ridge Earthquake.” Proceedings, 6th US National Con-
Pseudo-Static Seismic Stability and Deformation Analy- ference on Earthquake Engineering, Seattle, WA, 1998.
sis of End Slopes.” Proceedings of the 2nd International – Pease, J. W. and T. D. O’Rourke. “Seismic Response of
Conference on Earthquake Geotechnical Engineering, Liquefaction Sites.” Journal of Geotechnical and Geo-
Lisbon, Portugal, Vol. 2, pp. 667–672, 1999. environmental Engineering, ASCE, Vol. 123, No. 1,
– Wartman, J. et al. “Laboratory Evaluation of the New- pp. 37–45, January 1997.
mark Procedure for Assessing Seismically-Induced Slope – Shastid, T., J. Prospero, and J. Eidinger. “Southern Loop
Deformations.” Proceedings of the 2nd International Pipeline—Seismic Installation in Today’s Urban Envi-
Conference on Earthquake Geotechnical Engineering, ronment.” TCLEE, Monograph 25, 2003.
Lisbon, Portugal, Vol. 2, pp. 673–678, 1999. – Youd, T. L. and C. J. Beckman. “Performance of Corru-
• Buried Structures gated Metal Pipe (CMP) Culverts during Past Earth-
– American Lifelines Alliance. “Seismic Fragility Formula- quakes.” TCLEE, Monograph 25, 2003.
tions for Water System.” Part 1—Guidelines and Part 2—
Appendices, April 2001.
2.2.2 General Observations
– ASCE. “Guidelines for the Seismic Design of Oil and
Gas Pipeline Systems.” American Society of Civil Engi- Results of this literature review determined that a significant
neers, Committee on Gas and Liquid Fuel Lifelines of amount of information has and continues to be published on
the ASCE Technical Council on Lifeline Earthquake the topics of seismic design and performance of retaining walls,
Engineering, 1994. slopes and embankments, and buried structures. These publi-
– Hamada, M., R. Isoyama, and K. Wakamatsu. cations cover all facets of seismic design and performance from
“Liquefaction-Induced Ground Displacement and Its simplified to highly rigorous numerical methods, laboratory
Related Damage to Lifeline Facilities.” Soils and Foun- testing with shake tables and centrifuges, and case histories,
dations, Special Issue, 1996. though the number falling into this last category is relatively
– Holzer, et al. “Causes of Ground Failure in Alluvium dur- limited.
ing the Northridge, California, Earthquake of January 17, Whereas the amount of literature is significant, the advances
1994.” Technical Report NCEER-96-0012, 1996. in design methodology have been relatively limited over the past
– Johnson, E. R., M. C. Metz, and D. A. Hackney. “Assess- 10 to 20 years. New methodologies often have been refinements
ment of the Below-Ground Trans-Alaska Pipeline Fol- of procedures suggested many years before. What might be con-
lowing the Magnitude 7.9 Denali Fault Earthquake.” sidered the only significant advance is the common application
TCLEE, Monograph 25, 2003. of various numerical methods to investigate seismic response.
– MCEER. “Response of Buried Pipelines Subject to Earth-
quake Effects.” MCEER Monograph Series No. 3, 1999. • Limit-equilibrium computer codes are available from var-
– NCEER. “Highway Culvert Performance during Earth- ious vendors for evaluation of global stability of retaining
quakes.” NCEER Technical Report NCEER-96-0015, walls, slopes and embankments, and the permanent dis-
November 1996. placement component of buried structures. These codes
– NCEER. “Case Studies of Liquefaction and Lifeline Per- allow the designer to consider various internal and exter-
formance during Past Earthquakes.” Technical Report nal forces, with seismic forces included as a horizontal
NCEER-92-0001, Volume 1, M. Hamada, and T. D. force coefficient. Results from these analyses include criti-
O’Rourke Eds., 1992. cal failure surfaces and factors of safety for global stability.
– O’Rourke, M. J. and X. Liu. “Continuous Pipeline Sub- • A more limited number of finite element and finite dif-
jected to Transient PGD: A Comparison of Solutions.” ference codes also are being used now to estimate the dis-
Technical Report NCEER-96-0012, 1996. placement of soils or soil-structure systems during seis-
– O’Rourke, M. J. and C. Nordberg. “Longitudinal Per- mic loading. These more rigorous numerical procedures
manent Ground Deformation Effects on Buried Con- allow consideration of various geometries, time-dependent
tinuous Pipelines.” Technical Report NCEER-92-0014, loads, and soil properties whose strength changes with
1996. cycles of loading.
15

A number of observations relative to the overall goals of this cedures have been based on post-earthquake evalua-
Project can be made from the results of the literature review. tions of damage to water and sewer pipelines. The
Further discussion is provided in Chapter 3. procedures consider both the TGD and PGD. Most
examples of damage are associated with PGD. Pressures
• Retaining Walls on the walls of buried structures are typically estimated
– M-O equations are used almost exclusively to estimate using conventional earth pressure equations, including
seismic active and passive earth pressure. Little atten- the M-O equations for seismic loading.
tion seems to be given to the assumptions inherent to the – Experimental studies have been conducted with cen-
use of the M-O equations. The seismic coefficient used trifuges and shake tables to estimate the forces on cul-
in the M-O equation is assumed to be some percent of verts and pipes that result from seismically induced
the free field ground acceleration—typically from 50 to PGD. Only limited attention has been given to experi-
70 percent—and the soils behind the retaining structure mental studies involving the effects of TGD on pipelines
are assumed to be uniform. and culverts.
– There is widespread acceptance, particularly in Europe, – Observations from past earthquakes suggest that per-
of displacement-based methods of design, although it is formance of culverts and pipe structures located beneath
recognized that displacements are sensitive to the nature highway embankments has generally been good. This
of earthquake time histories. good performance is most likely associated with the
– Only limited experimental data exist to validate the forces design procedures used to construct the embankment
estimated for the design of retaining walls. These data are and backfill specifications for the culverts and pipes.
from shake tables and centrifuge tests. In most cases they Typical specifications require strict control on backfill
represent highly idealized conditions relative to normal
placement to assure acceptable performance of the
conditions encountered during the design of retaining
culvert or pipe under gravity loads and to avoid settle-
walls for transportation projects.
ment of fill located above the pipeline or culvert, and
– The overall performance of walls during seismic events
these strict requirements for static design lead to good
has generally been very good, particularly for MSE walls.
seismic performance.
This good performance can be attributed in some cases
– The most common instances of culvert or pipe structure
to inherent conservatism in the design methods cur-
damage during past earthquakes is where lateral flow or
rently being used for static loads.
• Slopes and Embankments
spreading associated with liquefaction has occurred. In
– Except in special cases the seismic stability analysis for these situations the culvert or pipe has moved with the
slopes and embankments is carried out with commer- moving ground.
cially available limit-equilibrium computer codes. These
codes have become very user friendly and are able to 2.3 DOT, Vendor, and
handle a variety of boundary conditions and internal Consultant Contacts
and external forces.
– Limited numbers of laboratory and field experiments Contacts were made with staff on the Project Team, staff
have been conducted to calibrate methods used to esti- in geotechnical groups of DOTs, vendors, and other con-
mate seismic stability or displacements. These experi- sultants to determine the availability of design guidelines to
ments have used centrifuges to replicate very idealized handle seismic design of retaining walls, slopes and embank-
conditions existing in the field. Usually the numerical ments, and buried structures. During these contacts, an
method is found to give reasonable performance esti- effort also was made to determine the normal approach fol-
mates, most likely because of the well-known boundary lowed when performing seismic design and analyses of
conditions and soil properties. retaining walls, slopes and embankments, and buried struc-
– Slope and embankment performance during earthquakes tures. This was viewed as a key step in the data collection
has varied. Most often slopes designed for seismic load- and review process, as the procedures used by this group of
ing have performed well. The exception has been where practitioners represent the current state-of-the practice and
liquefaction has occurred. The most dramatic evidence of should form the starting point for the development of any
seismically induced slope instability has occurred for new methodology.
oversteepened slopes, where the static stability of the Some of the key design guides and references identified
slope was marginal before the earthquake. from these contacts are summarized here:
• Buried Structures
– A number of procedures have been suggested for the • Caltrans: Contacts with California Department of Trans-
design of culverts and pipelines. Most often these pro- portation (Caltrans) personnel focused on the design
16

requirements for retaining walls and the approach used to site-adjusted PGA with a target factor of safety of 1.1.
evaluate seismic slope stability. Caltrans personnel con- Newmark-type analyses were allowed where an esti-
firmed that the retaining wall design requirements are doc- mate of deformations was needed.
umented in the Caltrans Bridge Design Specifications dated – Seismic earth pressures on walls were determined using
August 2003. Specifications include a 14-page Part-A on the M-O equations. WSDOT staff specifically pointed
General Requirements and Materials and 106-page Part-B out the difficulties that they have had in dealing with high
on Service Load Design Method, Allowable Stress Design. acceleration values and steep back slopes when using the
Some of the key design requirements for retaining walls M-O equations.
include the following: • ODOT and ADOT&PF: Both the Oregon Department of
– A minimum factor of safety of 1.3 for static loads on Transportation (ODOT) and the Alaska Department of
overall global stability. Transportation and Public Facilities (ADOT & PF) have
– A minimum factor of safety of 1.0 for design of retain- recently worked on developing guidelines for addressing
ing walls for seismic loads. the effects of liquefaction on embankment stability. Some
– Seismic forces applied to the mass of the slope based on of this information is useful for addressing the response
a horizontal seismic acceleration coefficient (kh) equal of slopes in liquefiable soils.
to one third of the site-adjusted PGA, the expected peak • Vendors: Design methods used by several vendors of MSE
acceleration produced by the maximum credible earth- walls (for example, Keystone, Hilfiker, and Mesa) were
quake. Generally, the vertical seismic coefficient (kv) is reviewed. Generally, these vendors followed methods
considered to equal zero. recommended by FHWA. Both the inertial force within
Caltrans specifications go on to indicate that if the factor of the reinforced zone and the dynamic earth pressure from
safety for the slope is less than 1.0 using one-third of the M-O earth pressure calculations were used in external sta-
site-adjusted PGA, procedures for estimating earthquake- bility evaluations. Guidelines also were provided for eval-
induced deformations, such as the Newmark Method, may uation of internal stability in the approach used by some
be used provided the retaining wall and any supported vendors.
structure can tolerate the resulting deformations. • Consultants: Contacts also were made with geotechnical
• WSDOT: Initial contacts with WSDOT’s geotechnical engineers and structural designers to determine what
staff focused on WSDOT’s involvement in develop- they perceived as the important issues for seismic design
ing technical support for load and resistance factors used of retaining walls, slopes and embankments, and buried
in geotechnical design. While this work was not specifi- structures. Below is a list of some of the issues identified
cally directed at seismic loading, both the methodology from this limited survey:
and the ongoing work through the AASHTO T-3 group – There was consensus that there needs to be clarification
appeared to be particularly relevant to Phase 2 of this on the responsibility between geotechnical engineers
Project. WSDOT efforts included evaluation of load and and structural engineers in the overall design process.
resistance factors through Monte Carlo simulations. The view was that a lack of communication occurs
Subsequent discussions took place with WSDOT on seis- between the two parties resulting in much confusion at
mic design methods for retaining walls in general and times.
MSE walls in particular. One key concern on the part – The design practice varied tremendously from state to
of WSDOT was how to incorporate load and resistant state and from project to project on many fundamental
factors in the seismic design process. This concern was requirements, including whether retaining walls need
particularly critical in the use of the M-O procedure for to be designed for the seismic load case at all. A com-
determining seismic earth pressures. WSDOT found mon practice was to design retaining walls for static
that if no resistance factors were applied to the dynamic loading only with its inherent factor of safety, and
case, as suggested in NCHRP 12-49 Project report and many designers believed that retaining walls have per-
other similar documents, it was possible that the seis- formed well in past earthquakes and traditional static
mic earth pressure will be lower than the static earth design practice and its inherent conservatism were
pressure determined using load and resistance factors in adequate.
the AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications. WSDOT – A major objective in future effort should be to devote
also provided a preliminary copy of their draft seis- some effort to clarifying basic steps involved in design-
mic design requirements for retaining walls, slopes, and ing retaining walls.
embankments. – Pseudo-static methods are typically used to evaluate sta-
– For pseudo-static analyses, WSDOT proposed using a bility of slopes and embankments during seismic load-
horizontal seismic coefficient equal to 0.5 times the ing. There seems to be a divergence of opinion on the
17

seismic coefficient to use during these analyses and an 2.4 Conclusions


acceptable factor of safety.
– Design of buried structures (that is, pipelines and cul- Conclusions from this task were that the methodologies
verts) is normally limited to a check on liquefaction available to design professionals within DOTs and consult-
potential, on the potential for flotation, and an evalua- ants for the DOTs are primarily limited either to pseudo-
tion of slope stability or lateral flow. Where lateral soil static methods, such as the M-O equations for estimating
movement was expected, the buried structure was either seismic earth pressures on retaining structures and the limit-
considered expendable or ground treatment methods equilibrium method of slope stability analysis, or to simplified
were used to mitigate the potential for lateral ground deformation methods (for example, Newmark charts or analy-
movement. ses). Although these methods have limitations, improvements
in these methodologies still offer the most practical approaches
An interesting observation from these contacts was that the to seismic design.
approach used by transportation agencies, specifically DOTs, A growing trend towards the use of more rigorous model-
seemed to lag the methodologies being used by many con- ing methods, such as the computer code FLAC (Itasca, 2007),
sultants. This is particularly the case for the seismic design for the evaluation of retaining structures, slopes and embank-
of slopes, where the common practice was to limit the seismic ments, and buried structures has occurred recently. While
stability analyses to the abutment fill using pseudo-static FLAC and similar software provide a more rigorous model-
methods. With the possible exception of some DOTs, such as ing of these problems and can be a very powerful method of
Caltrans and WSDOT, there was some hesitation towards analysis, these more numerically intensive procedures do not
using deformation methods. It also seemed that free-stand- appear to be suitable for development of design methodolo-
ing retaining walls and buried structures most often were not gies required by this Project. Rather they offer methodologies
designed for seismic loading. This was due in part to the lack either to check the simplified procedures appropriate for con-
of generally accepted design guidelines and the general costs ventional design or to evaluate special loading conditions and
associated with the implementation of additional design special geometries. Even in these special cases, these more rig-
requirements. orous procedures can be prone to significant inaccuracies
As a final note, it was commonly accepted by most practi- when the person using the software does not have a good
tioners involved in designing retaining walls and underground understanding of conditions that could affect results.
structures that earth structures have performed well in past As discussed in the next chapter, it also was apparent from
earthquakes, even for the higher ground shaking levels in the review of the literature that some areas of seismic design
WUS. These observations suggested that the seismic design were relatively mature, with design methods provided and gen-
requirement for earth structures should not burden the erally accepted. The design of slopes and embankments is
designer with overly complex and often over costly designed an example of this. But other areas were less well under-
systems. A very important part of the NCHRP 12-70 Project stood even for static loading. Design of geosynthetic walls falls
was to take advantage of recent seismological studies and into this category. This difference in “design maturity” added
seismic performance observations to avoid unwarranted to the complexity of the NCHRP 12-70 Project, as the intent of
conservatism and to reduce the region of the country requir- the NCHRP 12-70 Project was to have design guides consistent
ing seismic loading analyses. with and build upon static design methods.
18

CHAPTER 3

Problems and Knowledge Gaps

The goal of Task 2 of the NCHRP 12-70 Project was to on the wall and backfill soil are computed from the peak
identify, illustrate, and document problems and knowledge ground acceleration coefficient at ground level. This approach
gaps in current seismic analysis and design of retaining wall, is still widely used in general geotechnical practice since being
slopes and embankments, and buried structures. This objective suggested as a standard method by Seed and Whitman (1970).
was based on the Task 1 data collection and review, as well as A number of problems and related knowledge gaps with the
the Project Team’s experience gained from conducting seismic above approach have been identified, as discussed in the fol-
design studies for retaining walls, slopes and embankments, and lowing subsections.
buried structures in seismically active areas. The discussion of
knowledge gaps and problems is organized in four subsections.
3.1.1.1 Use of M-O Approach
The first three summarize knowledge gaps and problems for
for Seismic Earth Pressures
retaining walls, slopes and embankments, and buried struc-
tures, respectively. The final section provides key conclusions The following problems are encountered when using
about knowledge gaps and problems. As with the previous the M-O equations for the determination of seismic earth
chapter, the primary focus of this effort was to identify prac- pressures:
tical problems and knowledge gaps commonly encountered
by design engineers when conducting seismic design studies. • How to use the M-O equations for a backfill that is pre-
dominantly clayey, for a soil involving a combination of
shear strength derived from both c (cohesion of the soil) and
3.1 Retaining Walls
φ (friction angle of the soil), or where backfill conditions are
The discussion of problems and knowledge gaps for retain- not homogenous.
ing walls focused on three primary types of retaining walls: • How to use the M-O equations for sloping ground behind
gravity and semi-gravity walls, MSE walls, and soil nail walls. the wall where an unrealistically large seismic active earth
Various other categories of walls exist, such as nongravity can- pressure coefficient can result.
tilever walls and anchored walls. The discussions for gravity • How to use the M-O equations when high values of the
and semi-gravity walls are generally relevant to these other selected seismic coefficient cause the M-O equation to
walls as well, though additional complexity is introduced from degenerate into an infinite earth pressure.
the constraints on deformation resulting from the structural
system and the need to meet structural capacity requirements. These concerns reflect the limitations of the M-O equations
as discussed in the Commentary within the NCHRP Project
12-49 Guidelines (NCHRP Report 472, 2002). As noted in the
3.1.1 Gravity and Semi-Gravity Walls
commentary, these limitations in the M-O approach are the
Current AASHTO Specifications use the well-established result of basic assumptions used in the derivation of the M-O
M-O equations developed in the 1920s for determining methodology. For the case of seismic active earth pressures,
pseudo-static seismic active earth pressures behind conven- the M-O equation is based on the Coulomb failure wedge
tional gravity or semi-gravity retaining walls (that is, cast- assumption and a cohesionless backfill. For high accelera-
in-place gravity walls or cast-in-place concrete cantilever or tions or for steep backslopes, the equation leads to excessively
counterfort walls), where the maximum inertial forces acting high pressures that asymptote to infinity at critical accelera-
19

tion levels or backslope angles. For the latter conditions, no Specifications for static wall design) will provide more realis-
real solutions to the equation exist implying equilibrium is tic estimates of seismic active pressure. The above problem
not possible. A horizontal backfill with a friction angle for becomes further unrealistic in the case of a sloping backfill,
sand of 40 degrees, a wall friction angle of 20 degrees, and a where earthquake active pressures become rapidly infinite for
peak acceleration coefficient of 0.4 has a failure surface angle small seismic coefficients and relatively shallow slope angles,
of 20 degrees to the horizontal. It will lead to very large seis- as illustrated in Figure 3-2.
mic earth pressures due to the size of the failure wedge. For As discussed in Chapter 4, these problems with the M-O
a peak acceleration coefficient of 0.84, the active pressure active earth pressure equation appear to be avoidable through
becomes infinite, implying a horizontal failure surface. Since the use of commercially available computer programs based
many areas along the West Coast and Alaska involve peak on the method slices—the same as conventionally used for
ground accelerations in excess of 0.3g and it is common to slope stability analyses. This approach can be used to com-
have a backslope above the retaining wall, it is not uncommon pute earthquake active earth pressures for generalized and
for the designers to compute what appear to be unrealistically nonhomogeneous soil conditions behind a retaining wall.
high earth pressures. The determination of seismic passive earth pressures using
In practical situations cohesionless soil is unlikely to be pres- the M-O equation for passive earth pressure also suffers limi-
ent for a great distance behind a wall and encompass the entire tations. In many cases the soil is not a homogeneous cohesion-
critical failure wedge under seismic conditions. In some cases, less soil. However, more importantly, the use of the Coulomb
free-draining cohesionless soil may only be placed in the static failure wedge is not necessarily conservative, potentially result-
active wedge (say at a 60 degrees angle) with the remainder of ing in an underestimation of passive pressures. For some cases
the soil being cohesive embankment fill (c − φ soil), natural (for example, where the wall height is shallow), a sufficient
soil, or even rock. Under these circumstances, the maximum approach for the computation of seismic passive earth pres-
earthquake-induced active pressure could be determined using sures can be the use of the static passive earth pressure equa-
trial wedges as shown in Figure 3-1, with the strength on the fail- tions, as discussed in the NCHRP 12-49 guidelines (NCHRP
ure planes determined from the strength parameters for the Report 472, 2002). However, this approach fails to consider the
soils through which the failure plane passes. This approach earthquake inertial effects of the soil within the passive pres-
(in effect the Culmann method identified for use with non- sure zone. A preferred approach involves use of a log spiral
cohesionless backfill in the 2007 AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design method that incorporates seismic effects, as described by

Figure 3-1. Trial wedge method for determining critical earthquake


induced active forces.
20

particular during the Hyogoken-Nambu (Kobe) earthquake


in 1995, have found significant tilting or rotation of walls in
addition to horizontal deformations, reflecting cyclic bearing
capacity failures of wall foundations during earthquake load-
ing. To represent permanent wall deformation from mixed
sliding and rotational modes of deformation using Newmark
block failure assumptions, it is necessary to formulate more
complex coupled equations of motions as described, for exam-
ple, by Siddharthen et al. (1992) and Peng (1998). A coupled
deformation approach also has been documented in the
MCEER report Seismic Retrofitting Manual for Highway Struc-
tures: Part 2—Retaining Walls, Slopes, Tunnels, Culverts, and
Roadways (MCEER, 2006). Peng (1998) indicates that such
an analytical approach (including P-Δ effects) appears to
provide a reasonable simulation of observed rotational and
sliding wall deformations in the Kobe earthquake.
From the standpoint of performance criteria for the seismic
design of new conventional retaining walls, the preferred
design approach is to limit tilting or a rotational failure mode
by ensuring adequate factors of safety against foundation bear-
ing capacity failures and to place the design focus on perfor-
Figure 3-2. Effect of backfill slope on the seismic mance criteria that ensures acceptable sliding displacements.
active earth pressure coefficient using M-O equations. For weaker foundation materials, this rotational failure require-
ment may result in the use of pile or pier foundations, where lat-
eral seismic loads would of necessity be larger than those for a
Shamsabadi et al. (2007). The passive case is important for sliding wall. For retrofit design, the potential for wall rotation
establishing the resisting force at the toe of semi-gravity walls may have to be studied, but retrofit design is not within the
or for the face of a sheet pile wall or a cantilever wall comprised scope of the proposed AASHTO specifications for this Project.
of tangent or secant piles.
3.1.1.3 Rigid Block Sliding Assumption
3.1.1.2 Wall Sliding Assumption
Much of the recent literature on the seismic analysis of con-
The concept of allowing walls to slide during earthquake ventional retaining walls, including the European codes of
loading and displacement-based design (that is, assuming a practice, focuses on the use of Newmark sliding block analysis
Newmark sliding block analysis to compute displacements methods. The basic assumption with this approach is the soil
when accelerations exceed the horizontal limit equilibrium in the failure wedge behind the retaining wall responds as a
yield acceleration) was introduced by Richards and Elms rigid mass. Intuitively, for short walls, the concept of a backfill
(1979). Based on this concept, Elms and Martin (1979) sug- failure zone deforming as a rigid block would seem reasonable.
gested that a design acceleration coefficient of 0.5A in M-O However, for very high walls, the dynamic response of the soil
analyses would be adequate for a limit equilibrium pseudo- in the failure zone could lead to nonuniform accelerations with
static design, provided allowance be made for a horizontal wall height and negate the rigid block assumption. Wall flexibility
displacement of 10A inches. The coefficient “A” used in this also could influence the nature of soil-wall interaction.
method was the peak ground acceleration (in gravitational A number of finite element or finite difference numerical
units, g) at the base of the sliding soil wedge behind the retain- response analyses have been published in recent years, model-
ing wall. This concept was adopted by AASHTO in 1992, and is ing the dynamic earthquake response of cantilever walls. Unfor-
reflected in current AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifica- tunately, many of these analyses are based on walls founded on
tions. However, the concept is not well understood in the design soil layers leading to wall rotation. In addition, numerical diffi-
community, as designers often use values of 33 to 70 percent of culties in modeling interface elements between structural and
the peak ground acceleration for pseudo-static design without soil elements, along with problems modeling boundary condi-
a full understanding of the rationale for the reduction. tions, tend to cloud the results. Many of the analyses use only
Observations of the performance of conventional semi- one wall height, usually relatively high—greater than 30 feet, for
gravity cantilever retaining walls in past earthquakes, and in example.
21

Many conventional gravity retaining wall designs involve for the third runway extension at the Seattle–Tacoma Inter-
heights between 5 and 30 feet for economic reasons, with MSE national Airport. The firm-ground PGA value for this site will
walls being favored for greater wall heights. For this range of vary from approximately 0.3g to 0.6g for return periods rang-
heights, and considering the frequency range of likely input ing from 500 to 2,500 years. The combination of large PGA
ground accelerations, the rigid block assumption is probably and very high wall height poses questions as to the appropri-
adequate; however, as discussed in the next chapter additional ate seismic coefficient to use for design.
studies were required to confirm this expectation. Whereas model studies using centrifuge or large shaking
tables, together with numerical analyses using finite element
of finite difference programs, are providing insight on the
3.1.1.4 Earthquake Time Histories
complex physical behavior of MSE walls under seismic load-
for Wall Displacement Analyses
ing, current practical design approaches described in the lit-
The existing AASHTO Specifications use an empirical equa- erature rely on pseudo-static, limit-equilibrium analyses,
tion based on peak ground acceleration to compute wall dis- such as those used for conventional gravity walls. Data from
placements for a given wall yield acceleration. This equation such models or numerical studies often are used to calibrate
was derived from studies of a limited number of earthquake pseudo-static approaches, which have been developed over
accelerograms. However, recent studies including publica- the past 20 years.
tions related to the seismic response of retaining walls have Based on the literature survey carried out for Task 1 of this
clearly indicated the sensitivity of displacement computations Project, the following general observations summarize the data
(based on Newmark sliding block analyses) to the frequency gaps and uncertainties related to aspects of published design
and duration characteristics of earthquake acceleration records. approaches using limit equilibrium analyses of MSE walls.
Studies by Martin and Qiu (1994) showed sensitivity to both
peak accelerations and peak ground velocity. • Limit equilibrium approaches to the seismic design of MSE
Whereas site-specific design time histories could be walls entail consideration of the following two stability
developed for projects, the approach identified in Chapter 4 modes:
involved developing new design charts reflecting differences – Internal or local stability, which considers the potential
between WUS and CEUS time histories. To develop these for rupture or pullout of tensile reinforcement; and
charts, it was necessary to have separate sets of time histories – External or global stability, which considers the over-
representative of WUS and CEUS characteristic earthquakes. turning or sliding stability of the reinforced fill, assumed
As will be discussed in the next chapter, a database of these a coherent mass.
records was available for use on this Project for developing • Existing design guidelines or procedures use different
the proposed charts. assumptions in addressing internal stability. Current
AASHTO guidelines assume inertial forces act only on the
static active pressure zone, leading to additional tensile
3.1.2 MSE Retaining Walls
forces in reinforcement strips. A horizontal acceleration
MSE walls generally have performed well in past earthquakes, coefficient kh = (1.45-A) A is used to determine inertial
based on case histories reported in the Northridge, Kobe, and loading, where A is the peak ground acceleration coefficient.
Nisqually earthquakes. Minor damage patterns included ten- This empirical equation reflects potential amplification of
sion cracks on soil behind reinforced zones and cracking of con- low ground accelerations in the reinforced zone. A maxi-
crete facing panels. In some cases significant wall displacements mum acceleration of 0.45g is assumed reflecting a potential
were observed. For example, roughly 12 and 6 inches of lateral sliding failure mode at this acceleration level. Choukeir et al.
displacements at the top and bottom of a 20-foot-high wall in (1997) describe a procedure where kh is a function of the
Kobe were noted, where ground accelerations were 0.7g. Such natural frequency of the reinforced soil mass and the domi-
minor damage did not affect the integrity or stability of wall, nant earthquake input frequency. To improve design guide-
and the wall continued to function. lines, a better understanding of the influence of reinforced
Based on the above evidence, it could be argued that cur- fill height and stiffness and the frequency characteristics of
rent seismic design methods for MSE walls are adequate. input motions on design acceleration levels is needed. It
However, the lack of monitoring data and the lack of case his- is also clear that the geometry of the earthquake-induced
tories for wall heights greater than 30 to 50 feet, together with active pressure zone will be influenced by the level of accel-
the limitations and uncertainties of current design method- eration. The Bathhurst and Cai (1995) analysis method
ologies, suggest that improvements in design approaches are adopted in the 2006 MCEER report Seismic Retrofit Guide-
still needed. As an extreme example of this need, an MSE wall lines for Highway Structures (MCEER, 2006) assumes a seis-
with a height of over 100 feet was designed and constructed mic active pressure zone defined by the M-O Coulomb
22

failure surface and is used in conjunction with maximum 3.2 Slopes and Embankments
ground accelerations. Other analytical approaches search
for a critical active pressure zone defined by a bi-linear The dominant theme in the literature on the topic of eval-
failure surface. uating the seismic stability or performance of slopes and
• External stability is addressed in most guidelines by assum- embankments was the use of either pseudo-static or the New-
ing the M-O method for determining the earthquake- mark sliding block methods of analysis. Whereas dynamic
induced active earth pressures in the fill behind the rein- response analyses (particularly of large earth structures
forced soil mass. To evaluate the potential for sliding, the such as dams) using computer programs such as FLAC were
AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications assume only finding increasing use, for routine seismic design of slopes
50 percent of the earthquake active pressure acts in con- and embankments related to highways, the pseudo-static
junction with the reinforced soil mass inertial load on the method has found wide acceptance, while the use of New-
assumption that the two components would not be in phase, mark sliding block deformation method was gaining favor,
which is questionable and requires further evaluation. In particularly where pseudo-static methods resulted in low
addition, the limitations and problems with the use of the factors of safety. Often results of the deformation analysis
M-O equations for external stability assessments are simi- indicated that the amount of deformation for a slope or
lar to those previously described for conventional semi- embankment was tolerable, say less than 1 to 2 feet, even
gravity retaining walls, and along with performance criteria when the factor of safety from the pseudo-static analysis is
based on allowable wall displacements, can be addressed in less than 1.0.
a similar manner to approaches described for semi-gravity
walls.
3.2.1 Seismic Considerations for Soil Slopes
As discussed in the next chapter, studies related to wall A number of considerations relative to the seismic analysis
height/stiffness and ground motion dependent seismic of slopes and embankments are summarized below.
coefficients for design, along with improved approaches for
evaluation of internal and external seismic stability, are • As described in both the MCEER (2006) Seismic Retro-
clearly needed. fitting Manual for Highway Structures and the SCEC (2002)
Guidelines for Analyzing and Mitigating Landslide Hazards in
California, recommended practice for the analysis of seismic
3.1.3 Soil Nail Walls
slope or embankment performance is a displacement-based
Soil nail walls act in a similar manner to MSE walls, but analysis using a Newmark sliding block approach. This
are typically a ground reinforcement technique used for cut approach also was adopted by the NCHRP 12-49 Project for
slopes as opposed to fill slopes in the case of MSE walls. As evaluating liquefaction-induced lateral spread displacement
described in an FHWA Geotechnical Engineering Circular at bridge approach fills or slopes.
No. 7 Soil Nail Walls (FHWA, 2003), soil nail walls have per- • Newmark displacements provide an index of probable seis-
formed remarkably well during strong earthquakes, with no mic slope performance. As a general guideline, a Newmark
sign of distress or permanent deflection. displacement of less than 4 inches often is considered to rep-
Choukeir et al. (1997) note a seismic design methodology resent a “stable” slope, whereas more than 12 inches is con-
similar to that previously described for MSE walls. Caltrans sidered unstable from a serviceability standpoint. Several
have developed a computer program SNAIL for the design design charts correlating Newmark displacement with the
of soil nail walls based on a limit equilibrium approach ratio of yield acceleration (defined as the acceleration
using a two-wedge or bilinear failure surface for both inter- required to bring the factor of safety 1.0) to the peak acceler-
nal and external stability considerations, including the spec- ation exist. The approach identified in Chapter 4 involved
ification of horizontal and vertical seismic coefficients. The review of the existing data for the purpose of developing
computer program GOLDNAIL also is widely used in prac- improved design charts applicable to nationwide seismic
tice during the design of soil nails. This software also can be hazard conditions—with different charts produced for WUS
used to evaluate the performance of anchored walls by versus CEUS sites.
replacing the nail with a tendon having a specified strength • As previously discussed for retaining wall design, studies
and pullout capacity described in the literature suggest that displacement-based
As the design issues for MSE and soil nail walls are gener- analyses are very sensitive to the frequency and amplitude
ally similar, analysis methods for development were also characteristics of earthquake acceleration time histories
somewhat similar, with potential applications of the SNAIL and to earthquake duration, together with the earthquake
and GOLDNAIL programs also requiring review. response characteristics of higher walls, slopes, or embank-
23

ments. Whereas design charts or simplified expressions are which can be carried out with most two-dimensional slope
available to provide design guidance, improvements were stability programs, a wedge failure under seismic excitation
needed to better reflect the above variables and to provide is not widely analyzed. Analyses for the toppling failure,
a basis for nationwide application and to use as a screening which generally involves moment equilibrium, rarely are
tool to establish “no seismic analysis” criteria based on used in practice due to the complexity of the problem and
appropriate serviceability criteria. Caltrans guidelines, for lack of adequate rock properties for carrying out meaning-
example, use a “no analysis” screening criteria based on ful solutions.
pseudo-static factors of safety greater than 1.1 when a seis- • Often the seismic performance of the rock slope is expressed
mic coefficient of 1⁄3 of the maximum ground acceleration in terms of a pseudo-static factor of safety. The challenge
was used. faced by the practicing engineer involves assigning appro-
• For slopes and embankments of limited height, say less than priate shear strength parameters on the weakness plane
about 30 to 40 feet, the assumption of a rigid sliding block where sliding is anticipated. Some engineers may be reluc-
and the use of ground acceleration parameters to define tant to assign cohesion to the joint surface due to lack of
inertial lateral forces was thought to be a reasonable approx- ‘stickiness’ as found in a clayey soil. In fact, this assumed
imation. For higher slopes and embankments, however, cohesive strength is defined by the intercept on the shear
where the dynamic response of the sliding mass may influ- strength axis, of a tangent of a curvilinear Mohr envelope.
ence displacement magnitudes, modifications to computed This curvature is the result of the interlocking of aspirates
Newmark displacements were required, depending on the on the matching surface of the joints. Furthermore, labo-
comparative natural period characteristics of the earth- ratory direct shear tests are generally conducted on small
quake ground motion and the slope. Such modifications are rock specimens, and thus dilation due to waviness (undu-
included, for example, in the design methods documented in latory nature) of the joint that has a wave length longer
the SCEC (2002) recommended procedures. An approach than the specimen size is not captured in the test. These
for analytical development is described in Chapter 4 to conditions would increase the gross shear strength proper-
address this issue. ties of the joint planes when a large failure surface is consid-
ered. When a large block failure is considered, the potential
failure plane is likely to go through the existing discontinu-
3.2.2 Seismic Considerations for Rock Slopes
ities and to shear the intact rock that bridges the joint planes.
Rock slopes are encountered in many situations—both In this case, the shear strength parameters assigned to the
urban and mountainous terrain. Some considerations related potential failure plane in a limit equilibrium analysis
to these types of slopes are summarized below. should include some portion of the intact rock strength.
These increases in shear strength play a crucial role in the
• In regularly bedded or foliated rock, cut by joints, there are stability of rock slope.
many possibilities for block movement along weak planes. • The seismic design of the rock slope can be further improved
Where there are multiple sets of discontinuous planes by a deformation analysis involving a Newmark sliding
intersecting at oblique angles, three failure modes must be block analysis on the failure plane. The Newmark sliding
examined: plane sliding, wedge sliding, and toppling. A analysis for a plane failure is relatively simple to perform;
plane slide can form where a block of rock rests on an however, for the wedge failure, it requires modification to
inclined plane that dips downward and intersects the face deal with sliding on two planes under three-directional
of the slope. A wedge slide can occur where two planes of loading. The resultant vector of the inertial body forces act-
weakness intersect to define a tetrahedral block. Toppling ing onto each joint plane due to the three-component
failure can develop from overturning of certain types of acceleration is checked against the yield acceleration of the
rock, such as slates and schists, that have bedding planes joint. Sliding can take place on either plane or along the
inclined steeply into the hillside. interception of the two planes depending on the direction
• In practical solutions, the plane failure is examined using a of the loads at any given instance of time. This type of
two-dimensional limit equilibrium approach treating the analysis provides a rational basis for deformation analysis
seismic inertial load as a constant horizontal acceleration of the wedge failure.
acting on the potential failure block. For the wedge failure,
three-dimensional limit equilibrium wedge analyses using Although these seismic performance considerations can be
stereographic projection of joints and open free surface identified, it was also apparent that a transparent approach
orientations are used for gravity loading. While the con- for evaluating the seismic response of rock slopes could not
sideration of seismic loads in terms of pseudo-static accel- be developed into a guideline consistent with the simplified
eration can readily be implemented for the plane failure approaches needed for these AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design
24

Specifications, at least within the scope of this Project. Rather, • Current design and analysis methodologies for pipeline and
the seismic design of rock slopes would be more accurately tunnel systems were developed typically for long, linear
treated on a case-by-case basis. structures. For most highway applications, the culvert or
For rock slope stability evaluations, geologists and geo- pipe, however, is typically with limited length. The effect of
technical engineers will be required to define the potential the short length of the culvert or pipe on seismic response,
mechanisms of failure, the strength parameters representing as well as on the analysis procedure, had to be evaluated.
the failure mechanisms, and the seismic loads. With this • Current design and analysis methodologies for pipeline and
information an assessment of available computer software is tunnel systems were developed typically for level-ground
required to investigate seismic stability. In some cases where conditions. Culverts and pipes, however, are typically con-
two-dimensional conditions are predominant, conventional structed within a built-up embankment. There was a lack of
stability software similar to programs used for soil slopes data of how to determine the appropriate TGD parameters
could be used. Otherwise, more complete or specialized pro- for culverts and pipes embedded in embankments, especially
grams, involving two- and three-dimensional wedge-failure in high embankments.
surfaces would be needed. • The effect of soil overburden thickness (or embedment
depth) and the effect of vertical components of the ground
shaking on culvert or pipe performance was not well under-
3.3 Buried Structures
stood. Further studies in these aspects were required.
Almost all highway culverts and buried pipes have been • When subjected to the TGD effect, the response of a buried
designed and built without regard to seismic effects. Cur- linear structure can be described in terms of three principal
rently, there are no seismic provisions in AASHTO LRFD types of deformations: (1) axial deformations, (2) curvature
Bridge Design Specifications for culverts and buried structures, deformations, and (3) ovaling (for circular cross section) or
except for a general requirement stating that “earthquake racking (for rectangular cross section) deformations. The
loads should be considered only where buried structures first two types, axial and curvature deformations, are
cross active faults.” Unless there is a global slope stability induced by components of seismic waves that propagate
problem within the embankment through which the culvert along the culvert/pipe axis. The ovaling/racking deforma-
of pipeline passes, it is unlikely that existing highway culverts tions are induced along the transverse cross section when
or buried structures (other than tunnels) have been designed seismic waves propagate perpendicularly to the culvert/
and built with the consideration of fault displacements. While pipe axis. Previous observations have suggested that smaller
this approach may be acceptable for drainage culverts and diameter pipes (or small diameter highway culverts) are
most pipelines, it may not be an acceptable approach for a more resistant to ovaling deformations than the tunnel
well-used pedestrian tunnel. structures (and large diameter/size culverts). On the other
In recent years, a great deal of attention has been given to hand, tunnels and large-size highway culverts have per-
the study of seismic performance of underground structures formed better than small diameter pipes under the effects
to improve the understanding of factors influencing the seis- of axial/curvature deformations. A further understanding
mic behavior of underground structures. Design and analysis of the factors resulting in this different performance
procedures also have been proposed by some researchers and between large and small buried structures was important.
design engineers, but they are generally developed either for Once identified, these factors were considered in the design
pipelines (for example, gas and water) or tunnels (that is, and analysis procedures.
transportation or water) systems. These procedures have not • Simplified ovaling and racking analysis procedures devel-
been directly applied to culvert installations. oped for tunnel structures (for example, mined circular
The potential problems and knowledge gaps associated tunnels and box type cut-and-cover tunnels) can be applied
with the current seismic design and evaluation procedures for to large-span circular and rectangular culverts, respectively.
buried structures were considered. Simplified procedures for noncircular and nonrectangular
sections (for example, ellipse, arch, arch top 3-sided, etc.)
• Culverts and buried pipes have performed much better were nonexistent. Numerical analysis was required in this
than other highway structural components (for example, case and specific procedures related to performing this type
bridges and foundations). The “no-analysis required” cri- of analysis were needed.
terion proposed for the bridge structures may not be appli- • Various approaches for analysis or design of pipeline sys-
cable to the culvert structures. A separate and less stringent tems (for gas and water) have been proposed, particularly
screening criterion, taking into account both the ground under the effect of PGD, including fault displacements, lat-
shaking intensity and the project geological site conditions, eral spread, and slope deformations (slump). Significant
was needed. disparity exists among these approaches. There are also
25

different performance requirements and loading criteria equation or a limit-equilibrium stability program to
being used or proposed from different studies. A consistent determine the forces needed for stability.
methodology and design criteria compatible with the other – Charts for estimating wall displacement for representa-
components of the highway facilities have yet to be devel- tive areas of the United States (for example, CEUS ver-
oped for the culvert structures. sus WUS).
– Guidance on the selection of the seismic coefficient for
limit-equilibrium and displacement-based design and
3.4 Conclusions
its variation with wall height.
Knowledge gaps and problems identified in the literature • Slopes and embankments
review, through discussions with various individuals at DOTs – Procedures for determining the appropriate seismic
and those conducting research in the area, and through the coefficient and its variation with slope height.
completion of Task 2 have not identified any additional or – Charts for estimating displacement for representative
new knowledge gaps or problems; the ones cited above are areas of the United States (for example, CEUS versus
relatively well-known and documented. It appeared that in WUS). (These charts are the same as those used for esti-
most cases, existing simplified methodologies with appropri- mating the displacement of conventional rigid gravity
ate improvements and documentation could be used to walls.)
address these knowledge gaps and problems. – Procedures for introducing the effects of liquefaction.
While many problems could be handled by existing sim- – Procedures for treating rock slopes.
plified methodologies, the complexity of some topics, such as • Buried structures
the seismic design of geosynthetic MSE walls, was seen as – Simple-to-use design charts for medium-to-large-size
more complex than originally anticipated. This complexity culverts and pipes under the effect of transverse seismic
resulted in part from the changing approach to the static racking deformations, taking into account soil-structure
design of this wall type. It also appeared that the seismic interaction effect.
design of other wall types, such as soil nail walls, still lacked – Guidance on how to select transient ground defor-
the rigor needed to be considered state-of-the-practice. As mation (or strain) parameters for design and analysis
noted in the discussion of earthquake design basis, current purposes.
practice with some of these wall types involved sufficient con- – Development of a consistent and rational procedure
servatism in the ground motion specification, as well as the for buried structures subject to various forms of PGD,
inherent conservatism in static design, that these shortcom- including lateral spread, embankment slope movements
ings were not a serious design issue. In fact, overall current or flow, and faulting.
design methods have worked surprisingly well.
On the basis of the work carried out for this task, the pri- An overall need for the three areas was a screening procedure
mary development needs were identified as follows: that would provide guidance to the designer as to when a seis-
mic analysis could be neglected, because the reserve capacity for
• Retaining walls static design was sufficient to meet seismic demands during
– Numerical procedure that avoided deficiencies in the the design seismic event. Further, guidance was needed on
M-O procedure at high acceleration levels and steep back- the selection of appropriate ground motions to use for seismic
slopes and that handled mixed soil (c-φ) conditions. The design and the determination of appropriate soil strengths to
recommendation was to use either a wedge-equilibrium use in the capacity estimate.
26

CHAPTER 4

Work Plan: Analytical Methodologies

The goal of Task 3 for the NCHRP 12-70 Project was to iden- motion demand. The NCHRP 20-07 Project recommended
tify analytical methodologies that would be developed to adoption of the 1,000-year return period for the extreme
address the knowledge gaps and problems presented in the limit state (that is, an event having a 7 percent probability
previous chapters. The discussion of the work plan for analyti- of exceedance in 75 years). The NCHRP 20-07 guideline
cal methodology developments is presented under four major also focused its approach on the spectral acceleration at
headings: 1–second period (S1). This was an important development
prompted by the observation that PGA is not a good param-
• Seismic ground motions eter to correlate with historical damage to structures. Measures
• Retaining walls of ground shaking at some intermediate period range (say
• Slopes and embankments spectral accelerations around 1 to 2 seconds) are a better indi-
• Buried structures cator of displacement demand related to historical damage
and hence more important for characterizing ground shaking
The discussion of seismic ground motion follows earlier for design. This is also true for designing retaining walls,
discussions about the importance of the ground motions to slopes and embankments, and buried structures.
the overall Project. As noted previously, decisions on seismic In general, PGV is closely related to spectral accelerations
ground motion levels depended to a certain extent on conclu- at intermediate periods and, therefore, is a more appropriate
sions reached during the NCHRP 20-07 Project, which was con- measure of ground motion displacement demand than PGA,
ducted as a separate contract. One of the principal investigators especially for cross correlation to the amplitude of ground
for the NCHRP 12-70 Project served as a technical advisor to deformations or permanent slope displacements. Also, re-
the NCHRP 20-07 Project, enabling the NCHRP 12-70 Project cent seismological research suggested that lower levels of
to keep abreast of the ground motion recommendations and spectral acceleration at intermediate periods for CEUS com-
other components of the NCHRP 20-07 Project that could pared to WUS, and these reductions are relevant to Project
affect the NCHRP 12-70 Project. requirements.
Historically, due to the absence of strong motion data
from CEUS sites, seismic design criteria for projects in CEUS
4.1 Developments for Seismic
have generally been developed by applying the small PGA
Ground Motions
values from the CEUS sites to empirical WUS spectral shapes
The first area of development involved the ground motions to define the target design spectrum for CEUS conditions.
used during the seismic design of retaining walls, slopes and However, studies such as NUREG/CR-6728 conducted by the
embankments, and buried structures. The LRFD design pro- Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for nuclear power
cedure involves comparing the capacity of the design element plant applications (NUREG, 2001) have shown that the dif-
to the seismic demand for various limit states (that is, strength, ferences in CEUS seismological conditions not only result in
service, and extreme). Establishing the seismic ground motion lower shaking levels (that is, lower PGA), but also result in
was a necessary step when defining the expected demand dur- much lower long-period content for CEUS sites. The NUREG/
ing seismic loading. CR-6728 studies have been adopted by the NRC in recogni-
The Project followed the recommendations from the tion of the fundamental difference between requirements
NCHRP 20-07 Project in the definition of the seismic ground for seismological studies in CEUS versus historical WUS
27

Figure 4-1. Boundary between WUS and CEUS.

practice. Figure 4-1 presents the WUS and CEUS geograph- CR-0098 spectral shape shown in Figure 4-2 is based on New-
ical boundary following the USGS seismic-hazard mapping mark’s recommendation using historical strong motion data
program. The boundary basically follows the Rocky Moun- from WUS, while the spectral shape for CEUS was developed
tains passing through Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Arizona, using procedures described in the NUREG/CR-6728 report
then bending east through southern Colorado, New Mexico, based on up-to-date techniques for CEUS endorsed by NRC.
and western Texas. The Regulatory Guide 1.60 is the historical design spectral shape
Figure 4-2 presents results from a major study funded by originally used for designing nuclear power plants, now consid-
NRC to identify differences in ground motion characteristics ered overly conservative. In this figure both spectral displace-
between WUS and CEUS for horizontal motions representa- ment (RD) and peak spectral acceleration (PSA) at 1 second
tive of magnitude 6.5 events for generic soil sites. The NUREG/ are normalized by PGA.

Figure 4-2. Spectral curve shapes for generic sites covering both
WUS and CEUS (Sandia, 2004).
28

Along with the difference in the PGA between WUS and high seismic coefficients. With a few exceptions, these problems
CEUS sites, these figures show the drastic difference in the preclude practical modification of the M-O equations for
shaking hazard as measured by the peak spectral acceleration general use. The problem for seismic active earth pressures
at 1 second (S1) or PGV between a WUS and a CEUS site. Such can be overcome by the use of commercially available, limit-
changes between the WUS and CEUS are also reflected in equilibrium computer programs—the same as used for the
AASHTO 1,000-year maps. analysis of seismic slope stability. Current versions of many
In view of the differences in ground motion characteris- of these programs have the versatility to analyze conventional
tics, hence response spectra, between CEUS and WUS, as semi-gravity walls, as well as MSE, soil nail, or anchored walls.
well as the NCHRP 20-07 Project recommendation to use These analyses can be performed for complex wall profiles,
the spectral acceleration at a 1-second period as the parame- soil stratigraphy, surcharge loading, and pseudo-static lateral
ter for defining the level and requirements for bridge design, earthquake loading.
a focused ground motion study was conducted during the In the case of semi-gravity walls, values of earthquake-
NCHRP 12-70 Project to establish a consistent approach for induced wall loads (PAE) induced by retained soils can be
both projects. The NCHRP 12-70 ground motion study in- computed from a limit equilibrium stability analysis by cal-
volved development of an analytical methodology that relates culating the maximum equivalent external load on a wall face
PGV and spectral acceleration at 1-second period (S1) and (Figure 4-3) corresponding to a safety factor of 1.0. This con-
between PGV and PGA for CEUS and WUS. Effects of local cept, referred to as the generalized limit equilibrium (GLE)
soil conditions on the relationship between these ground method, can be calibrated back to an idealized M-O solution
motion parameters were avoided by developing the rela- for uniform cohesionless backfill, and has been used in prac-
tionships for NEHRP Site Class B conditions (that is, rock tice to replace M-O solutions for complex wall designs. The
with a shear wave velocity between 2,500 and 5,000 feet per line of action of the external load can reasonably be assumed
second), and then applying site coefficients to correct for at the mid-height of the wall acting at an appropriate friction
soil conditions. This development was accomplished using angle. In the case of MSE or soil nail walls, internal and exter-
an available ground motion database, including spectrum- nal stability evaluations may be undertaken using limit equi-
compatible time history development reflecting differences in librium computer programs without the empiricism presently
WUS and CEUS conditions. associated with AASHTO Specifications. Such an approach
has been described by Ling et al. (1997).
Potential computer programs for evaluating the GLE
4.2 Developments for
methodology were reviewed. One of the most valuable docu-
Retaining Walls
ments for this review was a study by Pockoski and Duncan
The next major area of development involved improved (2000) comparing 10 available computer programs for limit
methods for estimating the forces on and the displacement equilibrium analysis. Programs included in the study were
response of retaining walls. The approach for evaluating the UTEXAS4, SLOPE/W, SLIDE, XSTABLE, WINSTABL, RSS,
seismic displacement response of retaining walls consisted of
using a limit equilibrium stability analysis in combination
with the results of the seismic demand (ground motion) stud-
ies described above. Analytical developments were required
in three areas, as discussed in the following subsections. The
focus of these developments was on rational methods for es-
timating forces on and deformation of retaining walls located
in CEUS and WUS.

4.2.1 Generalized Limit


Equilibrium Analyses
The problems and knowledge gaps associated with existing
AASHTO Specifications for seismic earth pressure determi-
nation have been summarized in the Chapter 3 discussion.
Many problems are associated with the M-O equations used
to compute seismic active and passive earth pressures for wall
design. These problems include the inability of the M-O equa- Figure 4-3. Limit equilibrium method for estimating
tions to handle complex wall profiles, soil stratigraphies, and seismic active earth pressures.
29

SNAIL, and GOLDNAIL. Example problems in the Pockoski


and Duncan report addressed design and analysis of MSE, soil
nail and anchored (tieback) walls, and examined issues such
as ease of use, accuracy, and efficiency. However, the Pockoski
and Duncan study considered only static loading conditions.
The programs MSEW (based on AASHTO Specifications for
MSE walls) and ReSSA (a limit equilibrium program for re-
inforced soil slopes), both developed by ADAMA Engineer-
ing Inc. (ADAMA, 2005a and b) and licensed to the FHWA,
also were considered in this review. An application of the latest
version of ReSSA has been illustrated in a paper by Leshchinsky
and Han (2004) and compared to FLAC analyses.
Based on the review of the above report by Pockoski and
Duncan, information from some of the software suppliers,
and discussions with various researchers and practitioners,
the programs SLIDE, MSEW, and ReSSA (2.0) appeared to be Figure 4-4. Effects of spatially varying ground
the best suited for use in the analytical methodology develop- motions on seismic coefficient.
ment of the Project. Checks with an alternate program were
also performed to confirm the flexibility of the methodology
being recommended for development. Application examples The acceleration time history response at different points
are further discussed in Chapter 7. in the soil mass will be different from each other. Total force
In the case of semi-gravity walls validation of the GLE acting when normalized by the soil mass within the failure
approach with the closed-form M-O solutions is discussed plane gives rise to an equivalent seismic coefficient for wall
in Chapter 7. Parametric studies and examples of design design. As the retaining wall height and the lateral dimension
applications to representative walls including wall-height of the mass increase, an increasing degree of the high fre-
effects and deformation analyses (discussed in Sections 4.2.2 quency content of the ground motion will be eliminated.
and 4.2.3, respectively), along with comparative examples Hence, the seismic coefficient for earth pressure determina-
using existing AASHTO design methods, also are discussed tion should be a function of wall height, as well as a function
in Chapter 5 and 6. of the frequency content of the ground motion record. High
frequency-rich ground motions tend to be more incoherent
and result in a lower seismic coefficient. This observation also
4.2.2 Wall Height-Dependent
means that the seismic coefficient should decrease for the low,
Seismic Coefficient
long-period content of CEUS motion records as compared to
The next area of analytical methodology development WUS, or for rock motion records as opposed to soft soil site
involved a sound technical procedure for selecting the seis- records.
mic coefficient to be used in the limit equilibrium approach. This analytical development to quantify the effects of
The current practice in selecting the seismic coefficient as- incoherency (also referred to as scattering or wave scattering
sumes rigid body soil backfill response where the seismic in this Final Report) involved use of a library of spectrum-
coefficient is defined by the peak ground acceleration oc- compatible time histories representing a range of conditions,
curring at a point in the free field. For wall heights in excess including earthquake magnitudes, soil versus rock sites, and
of approximately 30 feet, this rigid-body assumption can be CEUS versus WUS locations. This information was used
questioned. to evaluate the dependence of the seismic coefficient on
Figure 4-4 presents two schematic diagrams illustrating the wall height. Coherency (wave-scattering) analyses were con-
issues pertaining to the seismic coefficient used for wall pres- ducted, and then the acceleration time histories for various
sure determination compared to the free-field motion at a failure mechanisms were integrated to evaluate the relation of
point on the ground surface. For simplicity, a massless re- seismic coefficient versus the original reference PGA and
taining wall is used to eliminate the inertial response of the spectral acceleration at 1 second (S1). The wave scattering
retaining wall, thereby resulting in a relatively simple prob- analyses were conducted for multiple wall heights (for exam-
lem involving inertial response of the retained fill acting on ple, 30-foot, 60-foot, and 100-foot heights). The variation in
the wall. For this problem the soil mass behind the retaining seismic coefficient was established as a function of time,
wall is governed by incoherency in the ground motion at dif- thereby defining “seismic coefficient time histories” for dif-
ferent points of the soil mass. ferent locations behind the retaining wall.
30

The resultant seismic coefficient time histories were used for A valuable source of reference material on this topic has
conducting Newmark sliding block analyses for wall deforma- been documented in a University of Washington Master
tion studies. More meaningful seismic coefficients for pseudo- of Science thesis by Paulsen (2002), where an equivalent
static earth pressure design were established by relating the Newmark sliding block analysis was developed to accom-
acceleration ratio in the Newmark analysis to a limiting perma- modate the additional deformations arising from rein-
nent displacement value (say at 6 inches) from the conducted forcing strip deformation and slip. However, parameter
analyses. The resultant product of this effort was charts of seis- selection for the model was empirical and based on cali-
mic coefficient versus PGA for different wall heights. Charts brations from centrifuge and shake table tests. Whereas
of wall height-dependent seismic coefficient versus 5 percent the model was promising, it was insufficiently mature for
damped spectral acceleration at 1 second (S1) also were devel- practical application at this time. FLAC analyses also have
oped. The latter charts might have better technical merit as been performed to evaluate deformation behavior under
discussed earlier regarding fundamental differences between seismic loading, and may be applicable for analysis of spe-
PGA versus S1. cial cases. However, with respect to AASHTO Specifica-
tions, the analytical methodology attempted to relate the
proposed pseudo-static limit equilibrium analyses to de-
4.2.3 Deformation Analyses
formation performance criteria in an empirical way, based
As part of this effort, an updated analytical methodology was on existing case histories and model tests, and the ap-
developed for estimating wall deformations during seismic proach described by Ling et. al. (1997).
loading as a function of yield acceleration. This approach was
allowed within the then current (2006) AASHTO Specifica-
4.3 Developments for Slopes
tions; however, the equation used for estimating displacements
and Embankments
was based on a limited database.
The following approach was taken from the updated ana- The next major area of development involved methods for
lytical methodology: evaluating the seismic performance of cut slopes and fill em-
bankments. Relative to the development needs for retaining
1. Semi-gravity walls: Using the computed time histories as- walls, these needs were not as significant. In most cases suit-
sociated with the wall height seismic coefficient studies, able analytical methodologies already existed for evaluating
Newmark sliding block charts showing displacements ver- the seismic response of slopes and embankments, but these
sus the ratio of yield acceleration to the peak ground ac- methods were not documented in the AASHTO LRFD Bridge
celeration (ky /kmax) were determined. (Note that ky is the Design Specifications, suggesting that much of the work re-
acceleration that results in a factor of safety of 1.0; kmax is lated to slopes and embankments involved adapting current
the PGA adjusted for local site effects. The kmax term is methodologies into an LRFD specification and commentary.
equivalent to As in the current AASHTO LRFD Bridge Although development needs for slopes and embankments
Design Specifications. The seismic coefficient for retaining were less than for the other two areas, three developments
wall design is commonly defined in terms of k rather than were required, as summarized below:
PGA to indicate a dimensionless seismic coefficient. The
use of k to define seismic coefficient during wall design is • Develop a robust set of Newmark displacement charts for
followed in this Project.) These charts are a function of S1, slope displacement evaluations, reflecting both differences
which relates strongly to PGV. The charts in turn were between WUS and CEUS and the influence of slope height.
used to reassess the suitability of the 50 percent reduction In this respect, the analysis approach was similar to that
factor in peak acceleration included within AASHTO for previously described for walls. However, additional param-
pseudo-static wall design. As noted previously, the 50 per- eters were needed in examining the coherence of inertial
cent reduction is based on acceptable horizontal displace- loads over potential sliding masses, including slope angle
ment criteria, where walls are free to slide. For walls sup- and shear wave velocities of slope material, and strength
ported by piles, displacement limits need to be integrated parameters ranging from those for cut slopes to fills. The
with pile performance criteria associated with pile capac- analysis program used for wave scattering analyses involved
ity. In such cases, questions related to pile pinning forces QUAD-4M (1994).
and their influence on yield accelerations of the wall-pile • Develop a screening method for determining areas requir-
system also need to be considered. ing no seismic analysis. The screening method depended on
2. MSE walls: Deformation analyses to assess performance a combination of the level and duration of ground shaking,
criteria for MSE walls are clearly more complex than for the geometry of the slope, and the reserve capacity that the
semi-gravity walls due to the flexibility of the wall system. slope has under static loading. A critical consideration in
31

the development of a screening method was the identifica- – Validation of design charts by numerical analysis.
tion of potentially liquefiable soils and how these condi- – Apply procedures to an established range of problems.
tions would be handled in the evaluation. Guidelines were – Develop screening guidelines to provide a basis for screen-
developed for the NCHRP 12-49 Project for treating the ing culverts and pipelines relative to their need for fur-
stability of approach fills located on liquefiable soils; these ther seismic evaluation (that is, define the “no-analysis
methods served as a starting point for this Project as well. required” criteria).
• As no LRFD approach for the static design of slopes exists, a • Identify analysis procedures for peak ground displacement.
commentary that addressed strength parameter selection for – Guidelines on the selection of design peak ground dis-
static and seismic design and was consistent with approaches placement parameters (for example, spatial distribution
to retaining wall design was developed as part of this Project. of ground motions and soil stiffness parameters).
– Effects of soil slope slumping, liquefaction-induced lat-
Based on the literature review and identification of eral spread and settlements, and fault rupture.
knowledge gaps summarized in Chapters 2 and 3, the work
on slopes and embankments was limited to soil conditions 4.4.1 Analysis Procedures for TGD
and did not include rock slopes. The stability of rock slopes
during seismic loading is controlled by the specific fracturing The response of a buried linear structure can be described
patterns of the rock, making a generic approach for the eval- in three principal types of deformations: (a) axial deforma-
uation of the seismic stability of rock slopes beyond what tions, (b) curvature deformations, and (c) ovaling (for circu-
could be accomplished by this Project. For this reason it was lar cross section) or racking (for rectangular cross section)
concluded that the topic of rock slope stability during seismic deformations as shown in Figures 4-5 and 4-6.
loading should be addressed by site-specific evaluations. The axial and curvature deformations are induced by com-
ponents of seismic waves that propagate along the culvert/
pipe axis. Current design and analysis methodologies for
4.4 Developments for pipelines and tunnel systems were developed typically for
Buried Structures long, linear structures. Culverts and pipe structures for trans-
portation applications, however, are typically of limited length.
The final area of development involved a methodology for
For this condition the transient axial/curvature deformations
dealing with buried culverts and pipe structures. It was rec-
should generally have little adverse effects on culvert/pipe
ognized that the seismic hazard to buried culverts and pipes
structures and, therefore, design and analysis provisions may
can be classified as being caused by either peak ground dis-
not be required for these two modes of TGD effects. This pre-
placement or TGD resulting from wave propagation. How-
liminary assumption, however, was further evaluated during
ever, there was no existing seismic design methodology or
the completion of the initial phase of this study and verified
guidelines for the design of culvert or pipe structures in Sec-
by numerical analysis.
tion 12 of the AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications. The ovaling/racking deformations are induced along the
Design and analysis procedures have been proposed by transverse cross section when seismic waves propagate per-
some researchers and design engineers for pipelines (for ex- pendicularly to the culvert/pipe axis. The design and analysis
ample, gas and water) or tunnel (that is, transportation or water) methodology develop by Wang (1993) can be readily applied
systems. While some of these procedures can be used for the for culverts with circular or rectangular cross sections. For
design and analysis of culvert and pipes (for example, the trans- example, the simple design chart shown in Figure 4-7 allows
verse racking/ovaling deformation of the section), others quick determinations of induced culvert/pipe racking/ovaling
cannot be directly applied because (1) culverts and pipes are deformations.
typically of limited length, (2) culverts and pipe structures Previous observations have suggested that smaller diameter
are typically constructed within a built-up embankment, and pipes (or small diameter highway culverts) are more resistant
(3) the characteristics of peak ground displacement and its to ovaling deformations than the larger culvert structures.
effects on culvert and pipes are phenomenologically complex. A further investigation of the factors resulting in this differ-
The analytical methodology development for buried struc- ent performance between large and small buried structures
tures involved the following main elements: was evaluated. Once identified, these factors were reflected
in the screening guidelines discussed above. In addition, the
• Develop analysis procedures for TGD. proposed analytical methodology development attempted
– Guidelines on the selection of design TGD parameters. to identify simplified procedures for noncircular and non-
– Methods for estimating transverse racking/ovaling rectangular sections. It was anticipated that parametric numer-
deformations (provide design charts as well as recom- ical analyses would be required for developing these simplified
mended step-by-step procedure). procedures.
32

MBF

Figure 4-5. Axial/curvature deformations.

Another important aspect for evaluating the TGD effects duced during ground shaking. This is particularly important
on culvert/pipe structures was to determine the appropriate because given the same PGA value, the anticipated PGV for
design ground motion parameters to characterize the ground CEUS would typically be much smaller than that for the WUS.
motion effects. It has long been recognized that PGA is not a Results based on the PGA versus PGV study presented earlier
good parameter for buried underground structures. Instead, in the work plan for the retaining walls, slopes, and embank-
PGV is a good indicator for ground deformations (strains) in- ments were used for the culvert structures.

Figure 4-6. Ovaling/racking deformations.


33

Figure 4-7. Earthquake-induced structural transient


racking/ovaling deformations.

As a final consideration, there is an on-going proposal In general, there are three major steps for evaluating the
(NCHRP Project 15-28) to upgrade the computer program PGD effects: (1) determine the PGD patterns (that is, spa-
CANDE-89 to incorporate the LRFD design methodology. tial distributions) using the site-specific subsurface condi-
CANDE-89 is a comprehensive design/analysis tool for the tions encountered at the culvert location; (2) derive the
cross section design and analysis (in two-dimensional plane- suitable soil stiffness accounting for the dynamic as well as
strain domain) of buried structures, particularly culverts. The cyclic effects (for example, softening due to liquefaction and
seismic effects of transient racking/ovaling deformations on repeated loading cycles; and hardening due to increased
culverts and pipe structures must be considered additional to strain rates); and (3) evaluate the structural response to the
the normal load effects and preferably could be incorporated PGD taking into consideration soil-structure interaction
into the updated CANDE analysis. In Chapter 10 recom- effects.
mendations on proposed seismic design methodologies to be In estimating the PGD patterns for liquefaction-induced
incorporated into the CANDE program are made. It is antic- lateral spread, slopes/embankment slumping, and post-
ipated that an option would be required in the CANDE pro- liquefaction settlements, the procedures developed for re-
gram to allow ground displacement profile as a loading input taining walls, slopes, and embankments can be used. Fault
to the CANDE analysis. rupture has a relatively low occurrence frequency. It is gen-
erally difficult to design for the effects of fault rupture unless
4.4.2 Analysis Procedures for Permanent the fault displacement is small or the backfill within the soil
Ground Deformations (PGD) envelope consists primarily of properly designed compress-
ible material to accommodate the fault displacement. As
Various approaches for analysis or design of pipeline sys- part of this study, general guidelines on design strategy for
tems (for gas and water) have been proposed under the effect of coping with large PGD, based on various previous project
PGD including those to account for the effects of liquefaction- experiences gained from tunnel and pipeline design, were
induced lateral spread, slope deformations (slump), post- identified.
liquefaction settlements, and fault displacements. Significant
disparity exists among these approaches. There are also dif-
4.5 Summary
ferent performance requirements and loading criteria being
used or proposed for different studies. A consistent method- In summary, the proposed analytical methodology devel-
ology and design criteria compatible with other components opment plan resulted in work product elements shown in
of the highway facilities are yet to be developed for the culvert Table 4-1. This summary is a modified version of Exhibit 6 of
and pipe structures. the Working Plan for the NCHRP 12-70 Project.
34

Table 4-1. Work product elements.

Type of Investigation Purpose

Establish Basis for Determining Identifies consistent approach for defining ground motions to use for
Ground Motions Suitable for CEUS seismic evaluation of retaining walls, slopes and embankments, and
and WUS buried structures, including modifications that account for permanent
displacements.

Develop Design Charts for Estimating Provides a rational basis for selecting seismic coefficient as
Height-Dependent Seismic a function of both wall height and slope height for different soil
Coefficient conditions.

Update Design Charts for Estimating Provides end users the means of estimating slope and wall
Slope and Wall Movement movements as a function of yield acceleration, PGA, and PGV.
Displacements

Evaluate Suitability of Limit Offers end users the means for improved methodology for
Equilibrium Computer Program based establishing design seismic earth pressure magnitudes for mixed soil
on Method of Slices for Determination conditions, steep backslopes, and high ground motions.
of Lateral Earth Pressures

Identify Method for Designing Establishes a basis for estimating seismic earth pressures to use for
Nongravity Cantilever Walls and wall design and provides a simplified approach for conducting
Anchored Walls Using Limit displacement-based analyses.
Equilibrium and Displacement-Based
Methods

Review Basis for Estimating Seismic Proposes revisions to design methodology based on conclusions
Performance of MSE Walls from evaluations carried out for this Project, as appropriate.

Document Approach for Evaluating Provides documentation for limit equilibrium and displacement-based
Seismic Stability of Slopes and approach for evaluating seismic stability of slopes.
Embankments

Develop Design Approaches for Provides design guidance and specifications.


Permanent and Transient Ground
Deformation for Culverts and
Pipelines
35

CHAPTER 5

Seismic Ground Motions

This chapter summarizes the results of ground motion probability of exceedance in 75 years, which corresponded
studies completed for the Project. The primary objectives of approximately to a 1,000-year return period; and (2) a change
the ground motion studies were to in the shape of the 5 percent damped response spectrum in
the longer period range. The discussion of these seismic load-
• Provide a consistent basis for establishing ground motion ing criteria in this section begins with a review of the update
to use during the seismic analysis of retaining walls, slopes to the current AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications.
and embankments, and buried structures; This review is followed by a summary of the ranges of ground
• Update Newmark charts for estimating permanent ground motions that can be expected in various regions of the United
displacements of retaining walls and slopes to be consistent States and then the variation in response spectra for CEUS ver-
with the results of ground motion studies for CEUS and sus WUS based on approaches recommended by the NCHRP
WUS; and 20-07 Project.
• Establish correlations between PGV and spectral accelera-
tion at a period of 1 second (S1) for use in the seismic analy-
5.1.1 Update to AASHTO Seismic
ses of retaining walls, slopes and embankments, and buried
Ground Motion Criteria
structures.
Seismic loading criteria used by the NCHRP 12-70 Project
Information in this chapter serves as input for the seismic were taken from the criteria being developed for the seismic
response studies discussed in Chapters 6 through 9. These re- design of bridges within the NCHRP 20-07 Project Recom-
sults also form the basis of sections in Volume 2 containing rec- mended LRFD Guidelines for the Seismic Design of Highway
ommended specifications and commentaries in the AASHTO Bridges (Imbsen, 2006). At the time the NCHRP 12-70 Proj-
LRFD Bridge Design Specifications. ect work was being performed, preliminary feedback from
the AASHTO T3 subcommittee was very favorable towards
use of the 1,000 year return period and the NEHRP spectral
5.1 Seismic Loading Criteria
shape concept. Rather than taking a separate approach or
The seismic design of bridges in the then current (2006) conducting a dual development, the NCHRP 12-70 Project
AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications was based on the assumed that the NCHRP 20-07 recommendations would be
peak ground accelerations and an appropriate response spec- adopted at the AASHTO meeting in 2007. AASHTO mem-
trum for the site. This same general approach was reviewed bers later adopted the ground motion changes during a vote
during the NCHRP 12-70 Project for the seismic analyses of in July of 2007.
retaining walls, slopes and embankments, and buried struc- There were several good reasons for using the criteria de-
tures. However, criteria in the AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design veloped for the NCHRP 20-07 Project for the seismic design
Specifications were expected to change based on recommen- of retaining walls, slopes and embankments, and buried
dations from the NCHRP 20-07 Project. Key changes recom- structures. First, it would be consistent with the approach
mended by the NCHRP 20-07 Project included (1) a change being used by most transportation agencies and already used
in the return period of the ground motion used for bridge de- in part within the current AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design
sign from the existing 10 percent probability of exceedance in Specifications. Secondly, by using the same criteria as devel-
a 50-year period (that is, 475-year return period) to a 7 percent oped for the NCHRP 20-07 Project, there was less chance for
36

confusion between guidelines being used for different parts ground shaking criteria. The spectrum was defined on the
of a project. Lastly, retaining walls, slopes and embankments, basis of spectral acceleration (Sa) at three periods: 0.0, 0.2
and buried structures are all components of the transportation and 1.0 seconds corresponding to the 1,000-year uniform-
network and by using the same criteria used by bridges, there risk spectrum for a referenced soft rock condition. The
was a common basis for judging risk to the transportation three periods defined the PGA, short-period spectral ac-
system. celeration (Ss), and the spectral acceleration at 1 second
Key aspects of the NCHRP 20-07 Project related to ground (S1), respectively. These spectral values are for soft rock
motion criteria are summarized below: site conditions where the average shear wave velocity
within the upper 100 feet of geologic profile ranges from
1. The safety level earthquake was based on the USGS/ 2,500 to 5,000 feet per second (ft/sec), which is referred as
AASHTO seismic hazard mapping program. The recom- Site Class B.
mended ground motion hazard level was a 7 percent prob- 4. The above three spectral ordinates (that is, at 0.0, 0.2 and
ability of exceedance in 75 years, corresponding roughly 1.0 seconds) are used to anchor a spectral curve shape.
to a 1,000-year return period. The USGS was contracted Figure 5-1 shows the resultant design acceleration re-
by AASHTO to provide 1,000-year hazard maps and an sponse spectrum after adjusting the referenced soft rock
implementation CD. spectrum for site soil effects. The adjustments for site ef-
2. The map and implementation CD, with the proposed fects account for amplification or deamplification of the
specifications developed by the NCHRP 20-07 Project referenced rock motion for soil conditions at the site. This
team, were used by various state bridge departments for method of determining the spectrum is generally the
trial designs. These trials were carried out in 2006 and same as that proposed earlier in the NCHRP 12-49 Proj-
balloting for adoption by AASHTO was held in July of ect (NCHRP Report 472, 2002) and has been used in
2007. As noted above, this meant that much of the both the 2003 and 2006 International Building Code
NCHRP 12-70 Project had to proceed on the basis that (IBC) for regulating the design of new buildings. The
the NCHRP 20-07 recommendations would be adopted primary difference with the new approach adopted by
by AASHTO. AASHTO in July of 2007 from a ground motion stand-
3. The approach recommended in the NCHRP 20-07 Proj- point is that it is using the 1,000-year return period,
ect report involved developing a free-field ground surface versus the 2,475-year return period recommended in
design spectrum that served as the basic benchmark NCHRP 12-49 and IBC 2003 and IBC 2006. (The IBC

Figure 5-1. Design response spectrum constructed with the three-


point method.
37

Table 5-1. Values of Fa as a function of site class and mapped short-period


spectral acceleration.

design approach also multiplies the resulting spectrum by factors to be applied to the two spectral ordinates for
a 2/3rd factor to account for the “reserve capacity” against other site soil/rock categories. Table 5-1 tabulates site
collapse within most buildings.) The AASHTO procedure coefficients (Fa) at the short period range (that is, at
also involves anchoring the design spectrum at zero pe- 0.0-second and 0.2-second periods), and Table 5-2 tabu-
riod (PGA) based on a 1,000-year return period hazard lates site coefficients (Fv) at the 1-second period. (AASHTO
level. This approach compares to the IBC which assumes subsequently adopted a separate table for Fpga to be ap-
that the PGA is equal to 0.4 times the spectral acceleration plied to PGA. Values of Fpga are the same as Fa. Note also
at 0.2 seconds (that is, the short period spectral accelera- that AASHTO normalizes PGA to be dimensionless. The
tion, Ss). The site coefficient used by AASHTO to adjust current version of AASHTO shows the same Fa and Fv
the PGA value (Fpga) for various soil classifications is iden- values but without the units of gravitational acceleration
tical to the coefficient used for the 0.2-second, short pe- (g).) The two site coefficient factors are applied to the
riod site factor (Fa) recommended by the NCHRP 12-49 three spectral ordinates from the new AASHTO 1,000-
Project and used by IBC. year maps and implementation CD for various site cat-
5. Similar to NCHRP 12-49 and IBC 2006, the NCHRP egories in relation to the reference USGS Site Class B
20-07 document provided two tables for site modification condition.

Table 5-2. Values of Fv as a function of site class and mapped 1 second period spectral
acceleration.
38

– The spectral ordinate at 0.2 second defines a flat plateau Figure 5-2 shows the results from this analysis; Table 5-3
with a constant spectral acceleration. This constant accel- tabulates these results. The figure shows the distinctly dif-
eration branch of the spectral curve starts at 0.2 Ts where ferent shapes of the response spectra in CEUS versus the
Ts is defined by the ratio of Sa at 0.2 seconds to Sa at 1 sec- WUS. In this figure, spectral curves for sites located in the
ond. The long-period limit of the spectrum is governed more active WUS are shown by continuous lines, and sites
by the intersection of the constant acceleration branch of for the less active CEUS are denoted by dashed lines. The
the curve and the decreasing spectral acceleration branch difference between WUS and CEUS occurs along a distinc-
of the response spectrum curve anchored at the 1-second tive boundary (see Figure 4-1) along the US Rocky Moun-
ordinate. tains. West of this boundary is referred to as the more seis-
– The long-period range (decreasing spectral accelera- mically active WUS, and east is the less active CEUS. In
tion) is defined by the spectral ordinate at 1 second general, ground shaking is higher in WUS as compared to
along with the assumption that the curve shape is in- CEUS, especially at longer periods (for example, 0.5 seconds
versely proportional to period (T); that is, Sa α 1/T. This or more).
1/T decrease is consistent with an assumption of con- Other observations regarding the variation in ground mo-
stant spectral velocity. It also corresponds with a spec- tion intensity between CEUS and WUS also were made from
tral displacement that increases linearly with the period the sensitivity study, as summarized here. These observations
of motion. (Note that the current IBC 2006 has a further are keyed to the spectral demand at the 1-second period, fol-
provision where the 1/T decrease changes to a 1/T 2 de- lowing the approach taken in the NCHRP 20-07 Project, which
crease. The period of this change differs across the makes use of spectral demand at 1 second for quantification of
United States, ranging from 4 seconds to 16 seconds. the seismic design category.
The change from 1/T to 1/T 2 was introduced for the de-
sign of long-period structures, such as multistory build- 1. In general, the expected ground motion shaking level at
ings, and for sloshing of large-diameter water reservoirs. 1-second period (S1), as measured by the 5 percent damped
A similar approach has not been taken by AASHTO for spectral acceleration for WUS typically ranges from 0.3 to
the design of long-period bridges. The maps in IBC 2006 0.6g. In contrast for CEUS, the shaking level is much lower
are not applicable because they represent a return period for S1—typically no more than 0.2g, even for relative active
of 2,475 years as opposed to the 1,000-year return period seismic areas near the cities of Memphis and Charleston.
being recommended within the new AASHTO maps. It For many of the population centers, including New York
is presumed that the seismic design of long-span bridges and Boston, S1 is well below 0.1g—often being 0.05g or less.
would use site-specific evaluation methods in the ab- 2. There appears to be a larger range in ground shaking for
sence of maps similar to those in IBC 2006.) CEUS sites as compared to WUS. For example, the design
S1 for Seattle or Salt Lake City is approximately 50 percent
5.1.2 Range of Ground Shaking Levels in the of San Francisco and Los Angeles, the most active regions. In
United States for Referenced Soft Rock contrast for CEUS, the population centers in the Northeast

A sensitivity analysis was conducted during the NCHRP


12-70 Project to determine the ground shaking levels for the
1,000-year return period at various locations in the United
States. Site Class B soft rock reference condition was used for
conducting this analysis. The purpose of the study was to
establish the range in ground shaking levels that must be con-
sidered during the seismic design of retaining walls, slopes
and embankments, and buried structures—based on the rec-
ommendations given in the NCHRP 20-07 Project.
The 1,000-year hazard spectra used in this sensitivity study
were generated by making use of the USGS interactive web-
site, rather than the results of the USGS 1,000-Year Mapping
Program. Although the USGS program was very close to
completion at the time of this work, the results of the 1,000-year
data were not available at the time the analyses were con-
ducted (Fall 2005). Appendix C provides background infor- Figure 5-2. Variation in the 1,000-year benchmark
mation on the USGS interactive website. soft rock spectra over the United States.
39

Table 5-3. 1000-year soft rock spectral ordinates.

5% Damped Spectral Acceleration (g)

WUS Sites EUS Sites

San Francisco

Salt Lake City


Los Angeles

Minneapolis
New Madrid

Charleston

Columbus
Evansville

New York
Memphis
Phoenix
Seattle
Period
(Second)

0.01 0.607 0.593 0.443 0.492 0.051 0.952 0.397 0.200 0.406 0.101 0.040 0.015

0.10 1.107 1.306 0.861 0.986 0.091 1.995 0.916 0.474 0.910 0.240 0.094 0.031

0.20 1.431 1.405 0.985 1.139 0.116 1.687 0.746 0.407 0.713 0.184 0.090 0.033

0.30 1.361 1.393 0.856 1.034 0.102 1.368 0.588 0.326 0.547 0.132 0.077 0.030

0.50 1.102 0.998 0.647 0.776 0.071 0.920 0.391 0.220 0.348 0.078 0.059 0.024

1.00 0.686 0.671 0.328 0.433 0.039 0.437 0.191 0.113 0.158 0.038 0.038 0.016

2.00 0.363 0.247 0.149 0.194 0.021 0.190 0.085 0.052 0.066 0.017 0.021 0.010

Deag
Magnitude at 7.9 7.9 7.2 7.0 6.6 7.7 7.7 7.7 7.3 7.0 7.7 7.7
1-Sec

Deag Distance
11.5 12.0 7.0 1.7 171.0 17.2 59.7 164.2 23.5 413.9 616.6 939.3
(Km)

Note: Spectral values shown in bold correspond to points SDS and SD1 in Figure 5-1.

are less than 25 percent of what would be expected for The spectral shapes shown in Figure 5-3 reflect the varia-
Memphis and Charleston (without considering the much tions in spectral shapes (that is, response spectra after nor-
higher shaking at the epicenter location at New Madrid). malizing by the design PGA) across the United States for a ref-
erenced soft rock condition classified as Site Class B by the
The relationship between spectral accelerations at 1 second USGS. However, for sites where deposits of soil occur, the soft
and the PGA also is observed to differ between the CEUS and rock spectra need to be modified to local site soil conditions.
the WUS. A good rule-of-thumb is to assume that for the For typical soil sites (commonly encountered in practical de-
Class B soft rock ground shaking, PGA is related to S1 by the sign conditions), there tends to be a higher level of amplifica-
following relationship: (1) WUS Class B Rock Sites, PGA ≈ S1; tion for the intermediate period of response around 1 second.
and (2) CEUS Class B Rock Sites, PGA ≈ 2S1. The effects of local soil amplification on the spectral shapes
shown in Figure 5-3 also were evaluated. Following the
NCHRP 20-07 Project guidelines, adjustments were made to
5.1.3 Variation in Spectral Shapes for Soil
the spectral ordinates at 0.2 (short) and 1-second (long) pe-
and Rock Sites in WUS versus CEUS
riods. For this evaluation an adjustment factor for Site Class E
The design response spectra shown in the previous section site conditions (loose sand or soft clays with Vs < 650 ft/sec.)
were developed from the USGS Hazard Mapping website for was used to evaluate the maximum potential effects of soil
the referenced soft rock conditions. Figure 5-3 presents the amplification on the spectral shapes. At lower shaking levels
normalized spectral curve shapes for the spectra shown in where maximum site amplification occurs, the site adjustment
Figure 5-2. factors were 3.5 and 2.5, respectively, for the short-period and
The differences between the spectral curve shapes for long-period adjustment factors.
CEUS (shown in dashed lines) versus WUS (shown in con- Figure 5-4 shows three spectral curve shapes developed
tinuous lines) is quite evident in this figure. Beyond approx- from the above discussed sensitivity studies. These three
imately 0.3 seconds, the ordinates for CEUS sites are gener- curves are used to illustrate variations in the spectral curve
ally about half of the ordinates from WUS sites for the same shapes after allowing for differences between CEUS and WUS
period, with the exception of the Columbus, Ohio and the ground motions, as well as between rock and soil site effects.
Minneapolis, Minnesota sites. These sites are extremely far The three spectral curve shapes define an upper bound (UB),
from known seismic sources and are of extremely low design lower bound (LB), and intermediate (Mid) spectral shape—
shaking levels. representing the combination of seismological variations
40

Figure 5-3. Spectral curve shapes from spectra presented in


Figure 5-2.

(that is, between WUS and CEUS) and potential soil condi- • The Mid spectral curve shape is the soft rock spectrum
tions variations (that is, Category B, C, D, and E sites). directly developed for San Francisco
The physical representation of the three shapes shown in
Figure 5-4 is: The spectral curve ordinates at 1-second period now reflect
about a factor of 4.5 variation between the UB versus the LB
• The LB spectral curve shape was developed from the soft shaking conditions reflecting amplification of the intermedi-
rock spectrum for the New York City site, a CEUS site. ate period (that is, about 1 second) motion due to site soil re-
• The UB spectral curve shape was developed for a San Fran- sponse effects. As discussed later, spectrum-compatible mo-
cisco site, a WUS site, after applying the Site Class D soil fac- tions will be generated for the three spectral curve shapes
tor to the San Francisco reference soft rock spectrum. that then will be used for slope and retaining wall scattering

Figure 5-4. Spectral curve shapes adopted for further


ground motion studies.
41

(coherency) analyses. The scattering analyses will be used to • Include over 1,800 strong motion records (horizontal and
examine height-dependent average acceleration factors. vertical components);
• Contain records from recent (before 2001) large-magnitude
earthquakes around the world (events in Japan, Turkey, and
5.2 Newmark Displacement
Taiwan);
Correlations
• Represent earthquake records in WUS and CEUS; and
The following section provides a summary of work done • Contain earthquake records for rock and soil site conditions.
to refine Newmark-displacement correlations that will be
used in the retaining wall, slopes and embankments, and This strong motion database has been used to update the cor-
buried structures analyses discussed in later chapters. These relations between permanent seismic displacement (Newmark
correlations often are presented in the form of charts or Sliding Block Method) and strong motion record characteris-
equations that can be used by the designer to estimate the tics developed during the NCHRP 12-49 Project. The update
amount of displacement based on an acceleration ratio at a involved accounting for the much larger database compared to
site. The acceleration ratio is defined as the ratio of the ac- the limited database used by Martin and Qiu (1994) in devel-
celeration at which a slope or retaining wall starts to slide oping the charts shown in the NCHRP 12-49 Project report.
to the peak ground acceleration. The current AASHTO The database also was used to check relationships for PGV
LRFD Bridge Design Specifications has a discussion of the based on S1, as described later in this chapter.
Newmark method in Appendix A of Section 11. Various
updates of the Newmark relationship have been made. One
5.2.2 Description of Ground
of the more recent relationships was developed as part of
Motion Database
the NCHRP 12-49 Project (NCHRP Report 472, 2002). The fol-
lowing subsections present refinements to the NCHRP 12-49 The ground motion database was developed from the strong
work based on a strong motion database that covers CEUS, motion catalog compiled as part of the United States Nuclear
as well as WUS. Regulatory Commission (USNRC) publication NUREG/
CR-6728 Technical Basis for Revision of Regulatory Guidance on
Design Ground Motions: Hazard- and Risk-Consistent Ground
5.2.1 Approach for Updating
Motion Spectra Guidelines (McGuire et al., 2001). The catalog
Newmark Charts
is available on two CDs, one for WUS and the other one for
One major step in establishing performance criteria for de- CEUS. Data are compiled in terms of magnitude, distance, and
sign purposes is to estimate the displacement of a retaining soil type bins, as follows:
structure or slope due to the design earthquake. When a time
history of the design earthquake is available, earthquake- • Two regions: WUS and CEUS;
induced displacements can be calculated using the Newmark’s • Two site conditions: rock and soil;
sliding block method. This approach involves integrating the • Three magnitude bins: 4.5–6, 6–7, and 7–8; and
earthquake record twice for the region above the yield accel- • Four distance bins: 0–10 km, 10–50 km, 50–100 km, and
eration, where the yield acceleration is the point where the 100–200 km.
factor of safety in sliding is 1.0. For routine retaining struc-
tures or slope designs, however, a design motion time his- The earthquake records are reasonably distributed in the
tory is often not available, and the designer relies on design range of practical interest. Figure 5-5 shows the distribution
motion parameters such as PGA and PGV. of the strong motion records in the catalog.
Research has shown there is a reasonable correlation be- Each record includes the following data:
tween these ground motion parameters and calculated per-
manent displacement from the Newmark method. A rela- • Acceleration, velocity, and displacement time histories;
tionship that was developed for the NCHRP 12-49 Project • Relative displacement, relative velocity, pseudo relative
was updated using the records from recent earthquakes. To velocity, absolute acceleration, and pseudo absolute accel-
establish a nationwide relationship for permanent displace- eration spectra (5 percent damped); and
ment, it was necessary to use ground motions with charac- • Time interval and duration of Arias intensity for various
teristics representative of CEUS and WUS earthquake records ranges.
in the analyses.
A database of strong ground motion records was used to It should be noted that due to the limited number of record-
study the design ground motion criteria for the NCHRP 12-70 ings east of the Rocky Mountains, a majority of CEUS records
Project. The main characteristics of this database: are based on WUS records with a scaling factor.
42

Figure 5-5. Distribution of the magnitude and distance from


source for the records in the USNRC Earthquake Catalog.

5.2.3 Permanent Displacement Data Newmark sliding block method for calculation of permanent
displacements due to earthquake time histories.
Permanent displacement is a characteristic of the strong
motion record, as well as the ratio of the structure yield ac-
celeration to peak ground acceleration in the sliding mass
5.2.4 Microsoft Access Database
(ky /kmax) of the subject structure. Using the strong motion To evaluate the correlations between different parameters in
records in the USNRC catalog, permanent displacements have the USNRC earthquake catalog, an Access database has been
been calculated for ky /kmax values in the range of 0.01 to 1. developed. The database comprises two tables, one for storage
A nonsymmetrical displacement scheme was assumed in these of basic record information (INFOTAB), and a second table
analyses, meaning that the displacement occurs in one direc- (NEWMARK) for storage of permanent displacement data.
tion and is not reversible. Figure 5-6 shows the concept of the Figure 5-7 shows a schematic diagram for the ground motion

Figure 5-6. Illustration of Newmark’s sliding block


method for estimation of permanent displacement due
to earthquake.
43

records have higher amplitudes in high frequency (low-


period) ranges.
• The difference in spectral shape between WUS and CEUS
records is more evident for the rock records.
• Having larger amplitudes at long periods implies that for
the same PGA, the earthquake records in WUS will have
larger PGV, therefore inducing larger displacements in the
structure.

5.2.6 Correlation between PGV and S1,


PGA and M
Several correlations between PGV and other ground mo-
tion parameters such as S1, PGA, and M were developed dur-
ing this study. After reviewing recent publications related to
this subject, a revised form of a PGV correlation suggested by
Abrahamson (2005) for the estimation of PGV from spectral
acceleration at one second (S1) was selected for use, as dis-
cussed in Section 5.3.
It is expected that in the future, USGS will publish recom-
mended PGV values for different locations nationwide. In that
case the S1-PGV correlation will be replaced in favor of design
PGV values, and the designers can use Newmark displace-
ment correlations directly using the USGS-recommended
PGV values.

Figure 5-7. Strong motion information database


5.2.7 Newmark Sliding Block
model.
Displacement Correlations
Various researchers have proposed different correlations
information database, and Table 5-4 gives a description of each for predicting the permanent displacement of earth structures
field in the Access database. The developed database can be used subjected to seismic loading. A summary and comparison of
to efficiently explore correlations between different record char- some of these correlations can be found in a paper by Cai and
acteristics. It also can be used to prepare data sets required for Bathurst (1996). The majority of these correlations are based
various statistical analyses. on the results of direct Newmark sliding block analyses on a
set of strong motion records.
Martin and Qiu (1994) used the following general form for
5.2.5 Spectral Acceleration Characteristics
estimation of Newmark displacement:
To compare strong motion records from different re-
d = C ( k y kmax ) (1 − ky kmax ) Aa 3V a 4 M a 5
a1 a2
gion, magnitude, and soil type bins, the normalized spec- (5-1)
tral acceleration and normalized relative density graphs are
plotted for each bin. The average spectrum for each region- Using a database of earthquake records with a magnitude
site condition for different magnitude ranges was calcu- range between 6.0 and 7.5, published by Hynes and Franklin
lated. The average normalized spectra are presented in (1984), Martin and Qiu concluded that the correlation with M
Figures 5-8 and 5-9. (magnitude) is negligible. The following simplified equation
Results in Figures 5-8 and 5-9 show the following trends: was proposed by Martin and Qiu and adopted in NCHRP
12-49 Project:
• Records with higher magnitudes generally have higher am-
d = 6.82 ( k y kmax ) (1 − ky kmax )
−0.55 5.08
A −0.86V −0.886 M 1.66 (5-2)
plitude in the long-period range.
• Records for WUS and CEUS generally have different spec- where
tral shapes. WUS records have higher normalized ampli- d = permanent displacement in inches,
tudes in lower frequency (long-period) ranges, while CEUS ky = yield acceleration,
44

Table 5-4. Description of different fields in the access ground motion database.

Table Field Description


INFOTAB NO Earthquake event number
INFOTAB EARTHQUAKE Earthquake event name
INFOTAB YEAR Event year
INFOTAB MODY Event date
INFOTAB HRMN Event time
INFOTAB MAG Earthquake magnitude
INFOTAB OWN Station owner
INFOTAB STNO Station number
INFOTAB STATION Station name
INFOTAB DIST Closest distance from source
INFOTAB GEOM Geomatrix site classification code
INFOTAB USGS USGS site classification code
INFOTAB HP Filter corner frequency, high
INFOTAB LP Filter corner frequency, low
INFOTAB PGA Peak ground acceleration
INFOTAB PGV Peak ground velocity
INFOTAB PGD Peak ground displacement
INFOTAB DUR Duration
INFOTAB FILENAME Record file name
INFOTAB PAA1S Pseudo spectral acceleration at 1 second
INFOTAB PRV1S Pseudo relative velocity at 1 second
INFOTAB RD1S Relative displacement at 1 second
INFOTAB PAAMAX Peak pseudo spectral acceleration
INFOTAB PRVMAX Peak pseudo relative velocity
INFOTAB RDMAX Peak relative displacement
INFOTAB DUR95 5%-95% Arias intensity duration
INFOTAB REGION Region (WUS or CEUS)
INFOTAB SITE Site type (Soil/Rock)
NEWMARK FILENAME Record file name
NEWMARK REGION Region (WUS or CEUS)
NEWMARK SITE Site type (Soil/Rock)
NEWMARK DIR Record direction (horizontal/vertical)
NEWMARK MAG Earthquake magnitude
NEWMARK PGA Peak ground acceleration
NEWMARK KYMAX ky/kmax (ratio of yield acceleration to PGA)
NEWMARK DISP Calculated permanent (Newmark) displacement
Note: Rock/Soil Definitions ≈A and B for rock, C, D and E for soil based on NEHRP classification.

kmax = the maximum seismic acceleration in the sliding block, log ( d ) = b0 + b1 log ( k y kmax ) + b2 log (1 − k y kmax )
A = peak ground acceleration (in/sec2), and
+ b3 log ( kmax ) + b4 log ( PGV ) (5-3)
V = peak ground velocity (in/sec).
Using a logarithmic transformation of the data helped to
A correlation based on Equation (5-2), but in logarithmic stabilize the variance of residuals and normalize the variables,
form, was used for estimation of Newmark displacement hence improving the correlation in the entire range of the
from peak ground acceleration and peak ground velocity. parameters.
Writing Equation (5-2) in logarithmic form resulted in the The coefficients for Equation (5-3) were estimated using
following equation: regression analysis. The permanent displacement data from
45

Figure 5-8. Average normalized spectral acceleration for rock


records.

Figure 5-9. Average normalized spectral acceleration for soil


records.
46

the previously mentioned database were used in the regression modified by the Site Class factor for peak ground acceleration
analysis. The regression analyses were performed for different (Fpga). The current AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifica-
regions (WUS/CEUS) and site conditions (rock/soil), resulting tions define the site-adjusted PGA as As. For this Project kmax
in four different correlations. The correlations are presented in is used rather than As to be consistent with the common prac-
Equations (5-4) to (5-7). The units in Equations (5-4) to (5-7) tice in geotechnical earthquake engineering of using k as the
are displacement (d) in inches, PGA in g, and PGV in in/sec. seismic coefficient during seismic earth pressure and slope
WUS-Rock: stability evaluations.

log ( d ) = −1.55 − 0.75 log ( k y kmax ) + 3.05 log (1 − k y kmax )


5.2.8 Comparison Between Correlations
−0.76 log ( kmax ) + 1.56 log ( PGV ) (5-4)
A comparison between correlations for different regions and
with a standard error of 0.22 log10 units. site conditions has been performed. The comparison was car-
ried out for two cases, assuming PGV (in/sec) = 30 × PGA
WUS-Soil:
(in/sec2) and PGV (in/sec) = 60 × PGA (in/sec2), respectively.
log ( d ) = −1.56 − 0.72 log ( k y kmax ) + 3.21 log (1 − k y kmax ) These comparisons are shown in Figures 5-10 through 5-17.
The results from these comparisons are summarized as follows:
−0.87 log ( kmax ) + 1.62 log ( PGV ) (5-5)
with a standard error of 0.22 log10 units. • Figures 5-10 and 5-11 show the comparison between rock
and soil correlations for WUS region [Equations (5-4) and
CEUS-Rock:
(5-5)] for PGV = 30 × kmax and PGV = 60 × kmax, respectively.
log ( d ) = −1.31 − 0.93 log ( k y kmax ) + 4.52 log (1 − k y kmax ) • Figures 5-12 and 5-13 show the comparison between the rock
and soil correlations for CEUS region [Equations (5-6) and
−0.46 log ( kmax ) + 1.12 log ( PGV ) (5-6)
(5-7)] for PGV = 30 × kmax and PGV = 60 × kmax, respectively.
with a standard error of 0.31 log10 units. • Figures 5-14 and 5-15 compare WUS-Rock and CEUS-Rock
correlations [Equations (5-4) and (5-6)].
CEUS-Soil:
• Figures 5-16 and 5-17 show the comparison between
log ( d ) = −1.49 − 0.75 log ( k y kmax ) + 3.62 log (1 − k y kmax ) Martin-Qiu correlation and WUS-Rock correlation [Equa-
tions (5-2) and (5-4)].
−0.85 log ( kmax ) + 1.61 log ( PGV ) (5-7)
with a standard error of 0.23 log10 units. These comparisons show that the CEUS-Rock correlation
When using the above equations, the term kmax is the peak results in smaller displacements in comparison to other cor-
ground acceleration coefficient (PGA) at the ground surface relations, including the Martin-Qiu correlation. It should be

Figure 5-10. Comparison between WUS-Rock and WUS-Soil correlations for


PGV = 30  kmax.
Figure 5-11. Comparison between WUS-Rock and WUS-Soil correlations for
PGV = 60  kmax.

Figure 5-12. Comparison between CEUS-Rock and CEUS-Soil correlations for


PGV = 30  kmax.

Figure 5-13. Comparison between CEUS-Rock and CEUS-Soil correlations for


PGV = 60  kmax.
48

Figure 5-14. Comparison between WUS-Rock and CEUS-Rock correlations for


PGV = 30  kmax.

noted that the correlations for other regions (that is, CEUS- 5.2.9 Confidence Level
Soil, WUS-Rock, and WUS-Soil) result in relatively similar
The displacement correlations discussed in previous sec-
displacement levels slightly greater than the Martin-Qiu
tions were based on a mean regression curve on the observed
correlation.
data. For design purposes a higher confidence level than the
Consequently correlations were combined for these data
mean curve (the mean curve corresponds to 50 percent con-
leading to a mean displacement correlation given by:
fidence level) is often selected. A common practice is to use
All data except CEUS-Rock:
the mean curve plus one standard deviation, which approxi-
log ( d ) = −1.51 − 0.74 log ( k y kmax ) + 3.27 log (1 − k y kmax ) mately corresponds to a confidence level of 84 percent. Fig-
ures 5-18 and 5-19 show the 84 percent confidence intervals
−0.80 log ( kmax ) + 1.59 log ( PGV ) (5-8)
for permanent displacement based on site-adjusted peak
with a standard error of 0.23 log10 units. ground acceleration coefficient of 0.3 and PGV = 30 × kmax and

Figure 5-15. Comparison between WUS-Rock and CEUS-Rock correlations for


PGV = 60  kmax.
49

Figure 5-16. Comparison between Martin-Qiu and WUS-Soil correlations for


PGV = 30  kmax.

PGV = 60 × kmax, respectively, with respect to the mean design 5.3 Correlation of PGV with S1
curve given by Equation (5-8).
A procedure for establishing the PGV for design from the
spectral acceleration at one second (S1) also was developed for
5.2.10 Design Recommendations the Project. For earth and buried structures, PGV provides a
For design applications, Equation (5-8) for soil and rock direct measure of the ground deformation (as opposed to
sites for WUS and CEUS and Equation (5-6) for CEUS rock ground shaking parameters represented by the spectral am-
sites are recommended. The regression curves shown on plitude) and is a more meaningful parameter than PGA or
Figure 5-18 and Figure 5-19 suggest that 84 percent confi- spectral accelerations for designing against kinematic loading
dence levels in displacement evaluations could be reason- induced by ground deformation. Also PGV is a key parame-
ably approximated by multiplying the mean curve by a ter used for Newmark deformation analysis, as described in
factor of 2. Section 5.2.

Figure 5-17. Comparison between Martin-Qiu and WUS-Soil correlations for


PGV = 60  kmax.
50

Figure 5-18. Mean Newmark displacement and 84% confidence level,


PGA = 0.3g, PGV = 30  kmax.

The initial approach taken to develop the PGV-S1 correla- based on the spectral acceleration at 1 second (S1) and the
tion involved performing statistical studies of the USNRC magnitude (M) of the earthquake.
database. However, the resulting correlation exhibited con-
ln ( PGV ) = 3.97 + 0.94 ln ( S1 ) + 0.013 ( ln ( S1 ) + 2.93)
2
siderable scatter. Subsequently a correlation being devel-
oped by Dr. Norm Abrahamson of the Pacific Gas and + 0.063 M (5-9)
Electric Group in San Francisco was identified through dis-
cussions with seismologists involved in ground motion where PGV is in units of cm/sec, S1 is spectral acceleration at
studies. Dr. Abrahamson forwarded a draft paper that he was T = 1 sec in units of g, and M is magnitude. Dr. Abrahamson
writing on the topic. (A copy of the draft paper was originally reported that this equation has a standard deviation of 0.38
included in Appendix D. Copyright restrictions prevented in- natural log units.
cluding this draft as part of the Final Report for the NCHRP Because the strong motion database used in Dr. Abraham-
12-70 Project.) son’s regression analyses consists of exclusively the WUS
In the draft of the Abrahamson’s paper, the following re- database, an evaluation was performed to determine whether
gression equation was recommended for determining PGV the above regression equation would be valid for representative

Figure 5-19. Mean Newmark displacement and 84% confidence level,


PGA = 0.3g, PGV = 60  kmax.
51

CEUS records. The NUREG/CR-6728 strong motion data, as cluded that the PGV correlation could be significantly
discussed in Section 5.2.4, was used to evaluate the validity simplified by eliminating the parameter M from Equation
of the Abrahamson PGV equation shown above. Figures 5- (5-9). Dr. Abrahamson concurred with this suggestion.
20 through 5-24 present comparisons between the results of 3. During discussions with Dr. Abrahamson, various other
the Abrahamson PGV equation and the strong motion data- versions of the PGV predictive equation were discussed.
base from NUREG/CR-6728. Other versions involve using spectral acceleration at the
The following conclusions can be made from Figures 5-20 3-second period. These equations are more suitable for
through 5-24: capturing peak ground velocity if there is a strong velocity
pulse from near-fault earthquake records. However, for
1. The Abrahamson PGV equation gives reasonable predic- applications involving the entire United States, especially
tions using the NUREG/CR-6728 database, even though for CEUS, these near-fault attenuation equations are not
the strong motion database from CEUS is characterized by believed to be relevant or appropriate at this time.
much lower long-period ground motion content. Part of
the reason is that the spectral acceleration at 1 second has Dr. Abrahamson reported that his research found that PGV
been used as a dependent variable in the regression equa- is strongly correlated with the spectral acceleration at 1 second
tion. The reasonableness of the comparisons occurs when (S1); therefore, the attenuation equation used S1 to anchor the
rock and soil conditions are separated for the CEUS and regression equation. Dr. Abrahamson commented that be-
the WUS. sides the 1-second spectral acceleration ordinate, other spec-
2. Magnitude (M) appears to play a very small role in affect- tral values around 1 second might be used to improve the PGV
ing the predicted PGV result. For example, there is very lit- prediction; however, from his experience, the PGA (that is,
tle change (that is, barely 10 percent) in the resultant PGV peak ground acceleration or spectral acceleration at zero-
value as the magnitude M changes from 5.5 to 7.5. The in- second period) has a frequency too far off for correlating with
sensitivity of magnitude, as well as the potential difficulty PGV, and this difference tends to increase the error in the
and/or ambiguity in establishing the deaggregated magni- regression equation. From these comments, a decision was
tude parameter for many CEUS sites where the seismic made to use the PGV equation based solely on the 1-second
sources are not well defined, was discussed with Dr. Abra- spectral acceleration ordinate (S1). In all the presented figures,
hamson (2005). From a practical perspective, it was con- the PGA amplitudes are depicted in four different categories.

Figure 5-20. Comparison between Abrahamson PGV equation with all data in NUREG/
CR-6728.
52

Figure 5-21. Comparison between Abrahamson PGV equation with only NUREG/CR-6728
CEUS rock data.

Figure 5-22. Comparison between Abrahamson PGV equation with only NUREG/CR-6728
CEUS soil data.
53

Figure 5-23. Comparison between Abrahamson PGV equation with only NUREG/CR-6728
WUS rock data.

WUS-SOIL
100

10
0.0<PGA<0.1
0.1<PGA<0.2
PGV (in/s)

0.2<PGA<0.3
0.3<PGA
Norm Mean
Norm Mean+1s
Norm Mean-1s
1

0.1
0.001 0.01 0.1 1 10
S1(g)

Figure 5-24. Comparison between Abrahamson PGV equation with only NUREG/CR-6728
WUS soil data.
54

From these plots, the trend of increasing PGV with S1 is very Earthquake ground motion studies described in this chap-
evident; however, there is no discernible trend for PGA. ter are based on an earthquake with a 7 percent probability of
In addition to presenting the median PGV equation, Fig- exceedance in 75 years (that is, the 1,000-year return period),
ures 5-20 through 5-24 show the mean-plus and the mean- consistent with the recommendations adopted by AASHTO
minus one standard deviations. These lines use the standard in July of 2007. The 1,000-year earthquake ground motions
deviation coefficient of 0.38 as suggested by the Abrahamson are available in maps and from an implementation CD de-
PGV equation. The use of the standard deviation coefficient veloped by the USGS for AASHTO. As shown in this chapter,
of 0.38 implies that the mean-plus one standard deviation the recommended 1,000-year return period is a significant
and the mean-minus one standard deviation will be 1.46 and change from the existing AASHTO Specifications, in terms of
0.68 of the median PGV values. PGA and spectral shape for WUS and CEUS locations. These
From the five figures presented in this section, the follow- differences need to be considered when conducting seismic
ing relationship was selected for estimating PGV for design analysis and design for retaining walls, slopes and embank-
analyses, with the equation reduced to the following expres- ments, and buried structures, and therefore these ground
sion in log10 units rather than natural log basis: motion discussions form an important component of the
overall NCHRP 12-70 Project.
PGV = 0.3937 × 100.434C 1 (5-10) The information from ground motion review also was used
to update Newmark displacement correlations, as also de-
where
scribed in this chapter. Newmark displacement correlations
PGV = inches/sec and
will be used for estimating the displacement of retaining walls,
slopes and embankments, and buried structures, as discussed
C1 = 4.82 + 2.16 log10 S1 + 0.013[ 2.30 log10 S1 + 2.93]
2

in later chapters. The update in the displacement correlations


For design purposes Equation (5-10) was later simplified considered ground motions that will typically occur in CEUS
to the following equation. as well as WUS. Again both the PGA and spectral shape were
important considerations during the development of these
PGV ( in sec ) = 55 Fv S1 (5-11) correlations. Results of the Newmark displacement studies led
to two equations [Equation (5-6) for CEUS rock sites and
Equation (5-10) was developed by using the mean-plus Equation (5-8) for WUS soil and rock sites and CEUS soil
one standard deviation prediction (shown in heavy thick lines sites] and two charts (Figures 5-18 and 5-19) for use in design.
in the five figures for an M = 7.5 event). As a final component of the ground motion studies, a cor-
relation between PGV and spectral acceleration at 1 second
(S1) was developed. This information is needed within the
5.4 Conclusions
Newmark displacement correlations developed for this Proj-
The work presented in this chapter forms the basis of the ect, as well as for evaluating the transient response of buried
ground motion determination used during the seismic analy- structures. Equation (5-10) presents the correlation. Results
sis and design of retaining walls, slopes and embankments, of the equation are compared with records from the USNRC
and buried structures. The results of the ground motion stud- strong motion database to show the reasonableness of the rec-
ies were developed by interpreting existing strong motion ommended equation. For design purposes Equation (5-10)
data relative to recommendations that were made for the up- was later simplified to Equation (5-11). The simplified equa-
date of the AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications. tion provided a reasonable approximation of the data.
55

CHAPTER 6

Height-Dependent Seismic Coefficients

This chapter summarizes the results of seismic wave inco- to seismic loading. In this case the soil above the critical fail-
herence or scattering studies. These scattering studies were ure surface is assumed to be a rigid mass. By assuming a rigid
conducted to evaluate the variation in average ground accel- body response, the ground motions within the rigid body are
eration behind retaining walls and within slopes, as a func- equal throughout. For wall or slope heights in excess of about
tion of height. The primary objectives of these studies were to 20 to 30 feet, this assumption can be questioned. The follow-
ing sections of this chapter summarize the results of the wave
• Evaluate the changes in ground motion within the soil mass scattering analyses. This summary starts with a case study for
that occur with height and lateral distance from a reference a 30-foot high slope to illustrate the wave scattering process.
point. The consequence of this variation is that the average This is followed by a more detailed evaluation of the scatter-
ground motion within a soil mass behind a retaining wall ing effects for retaining walls.
or within a slope, which results in the inertial force on the
wall or within the slope, is less than the instantaneous peak
6.1.1 Scattering Analyses for a Slope
value within the zone.
• Develop a method for determining the average ground Wave propagation analyses were conducted for an em-
motion that could be used in the seismic design of retain- bankment slope that was 30 feet in height and had a 3H:1V
ing structures, embankments and slopes, and buried struc- (horizontal to vertical) slope face. A slope height of 30 feet
tures based on the results of the scattering evaluations. was selected as being representative of a case that might be en-
countered during a typical design. The objective of the analysis
The wave scattering analyses resulted in the development was to determine the equivalent average seismic coefficient that
of a height-dependent seismic coefficient. These results are would be used in a limit equilibrium slope stability evaluation,
described in the following sections of this chapter. The dis- taking into consideration wave scattering. Figure 6-1 depicts the
cussions provide background for the scattering studies, the slope model employed in the wave propagation study.
results of the scattering analyses for a slope and for retaining
walls, and recommendations on the application of the scat-
6.1.1.1 Slope Model
tering effects. These results also will form the basis of discus-
sion in sections proposed for use in the AASHTO LRFD The wave propagation analysis was carried out for a
Bridge Design Specifications. two-dimensional (2-D) slope using the computer program
QUAD-4M (1994). For these analyses the seismic coefficient
was integrated over predetermined blocks of soil. The seismic
6.1 Wave Scattering Evaluations
coefficient is essentially the ratio of the seismic force induced
Current practice in selecting the seismic coefficient for re- by the earthquake in the block of soil divided by the weight of
taining walls normally assumes rigid body soil response in the that block. Since the summation of forces acting on the block
backfill behind a retaining wall. In this approach the seismic is computed as a function of time, the seismic coefficient is
coefficient is defined by the PGA or some percentage of the computed for each time step, yielding a time history of the
PGA. A limit equilibrium concept, such as the M-O equation, seismic coefficient for the block. In this study, three soil blocks
is used to determine the force on the retaining wall. A similar bounded by potential failure surfaces shown in Figure 6-1
approach often is taken when assessing the response of a slope were evaluated.
56

Figure 6-1. QUAD-4M model for 30-feet high wall.

The model used for these analyses had the following middle, should approach a level ground reference outcrop
characteristics: benchmark condition.
Rigorously speaking, free-field response at the left side (top
• Soil properties assigned for the finite element mesh are of slope) versus the right side (bottom of slope) will be of lit-
shown in Figure 6-1. These properties reflect typical com- tle difference in amplitude of shaking, reflecting a slight time
pacted fill properties with a uniform shear wave velocity of delay due to wave passage over a 30-foot difference in soil col-
800 feet per second (ft/sec). umn height in the model. Introduction of any impedance
• Ground motions in the form of acceleration time histories contrast in either the soil mesh or what is implied by the
were assigned as outcrop motions at the base of the model transmitting boundary effectively introduces a boundary
where a transmitting boundary was provided. condition into the problem and results in a natural frequency
• The half-space property beneath the transmitting boundary in the boundary value problem. This will result in a free-field
was assigned a shear wave velocity of 800 ft/sec, identical to ground surface shaking condition deviating from the in-
the soil mesh above the transmitting boundary. tended level-ground outcrop response spectrum design basis.
Likewise, introduction of an impedance contrast would in-
The velocity of the half-space was assigned the same veloc- troduce complexities to the ground motion design defini-
ity as the embankment to avoid introduction of an impedance tions. Solutions involving such impedance contrast will,
contrast in the finite-element model (hence an artificial natu- however, be relevant for site-specific cases, as discussed in
ral frequency defined for the system). Assigning a uniform soil Chapters 7 and 8 of this Final Report.
property above and below the half-space transmitting bound-
ary meant that the resultant ground shaking would implicitly
6.1.1.2 Earthquake Records Used In Slope Studies
be compatible to the intended free-field ground surface con-
dition, as defined by a given design response spectrum. Several earthquake time histories were used for input exci-
To further explain this aspect, reference is made to the left tation; each one was spectrum matched to lower bound, mid,
and the right side boundaries of the finite element mesh or upper bound spectra, as discussed in Chapter 5. Further
shown in Figure 6-1. These boundaries are specifically estab- documentation of the input motions used for the analyses
lished as being sufficiently far from the slope face to avoid can be found in Appendix E.
boundary effects. With the half-space and soil mesh proper- Prior to presenting results of the equivalent seismic coeffi-
ties as discussed earlier, it is observed that at the left and right cient evaluations, Figure 6-2 shows a representative accelera-
edge soil columns, the response should approach the theo- tion time history extracted from a node on the free-field sur-
retical semi-infinite half-space problem of a vertically propa- face at the left side boundary (that is, at the top of the slope).
gating shear wave (as modeled by the one-dimensional com- The time history is for the Imperial Valley input motion that
puter program SHAKE—Schnaebel et al., 1972). Therefore, was used to match the mid target spectrum. This time history
the overall problem at the free-field ground surface, with the can be compared to the reference outcrop motion shown in
exception of the region locally adjacent to the slope face in the the same figure. As can be seen from the comparison, the two
57

Outcrop Input Motion (Acc), g


0.5

-0.5

-1
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35

1
Free Field Motion (Acc), g

0.5

-0.5

-1
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35
Time, s

Figure 6-2. Comparison QUAD 4M input outcrop motion


(top figure) versus free field ground surface response motion
(bottom figure).

motions are rather similar as intended by the use of the trans- seismic coefficient time history (dark lines) as compared to
mitting boundary and a uniform set of soil properties. The the input outcrop motion (light lines). From the comparison,
Rayleigh damping parameters are intentionally chosen to be it is also clear that the reduction in shaking in the seismic co-
sufficiently low to avoid unintended material damping that efficient time history as compared to the reference input de-
would lower the resultant shaking at the free-field surface sign time history is highly frequency dependent.
from wave propagation over the small height in soil column The reduction in shaking is much more apparent for the
used for analysis. lower bound spectrum records (see Figures 6-3 through 6-5)
relative to the mid and upper bound cases. The reduction in
shaking for the analyses associated with the mid and the
6.1.1.3 Results of Scattering Analyses for Slopes
upper bound spectra indicates that the reduction in shaking
Figures 6-3 through 6-5 show comparisons of seismic co- is justified for the several relative peaks at the time of strong
efficient time histories (dark lines) against the input outcrop ground shaking, but the reduction becomes much less ap-
motion (light lines) for three acceleration time histories fitted parent for other portions of the response time history, espe-
for the lower bound spectral shape. Figures 6-6 through 6-8 cially toward the end of the time history. The scattering phe-
and Figures 6-9 through 6-11 present the corresponding nomenon results from the fact that several relative peaks at
comparisons for the mid and upper bound spectrum, respec- the time of peak earthquake loading will be chopped off, as
tively. In each figure, three traces of seismic coefficient were opposed to a uniformly scaling down of the overall time his-
computed for the three blocks as compared to the light col- tory motion record.
ored reference outcrop motion. As observed from time-history comparisons for the aver-
age seismic coefficients resulting for the three failure blocks
in each of the figures, the high frequency cancellation effect,
6.1.1.4 Observations from Evaluations
or variation in seismic coefficient among the three failure
It can be observed from Figures 6-2 through 6-11 that the blocks, appears to be relatively small in the lateral dimension.
variation in the seismic coefficient amongst the three blocks As discussed more fully in the summary of wave scattering
for a given earthquake motion is rather small. However, there analyses for retaining walls, it appears that the resultant ratio
is a clear reduction in seismic coefficient from the integrated decreases with increasing lateral dimension in the failure
58

0.5

Block 1 k
0

-0.5

-1
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35

0.5
Block 2 k

-0.5

-1
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35

1
Input Outcrop
Seismic Coeff
0.5
Block 3 k

-0.5

-1
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35
Time, s

Figure 6-3. Scattering results for lower bound spectral shape,


Cape Mendocino record.

0.5
Block 1 k

-0.5

-1
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35

0.5
Block 2 k

-0.5

-1
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35

1
Input Outcrop
0.5 Seismic Coeff
Block 3 k

-0.5

-1
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35
Time, s

Figure 6-4. Scattering results for lower bound spectral shape,


Dayhook record.
59

0.5

Block 1 k
0

-0.5

-1
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35

0.5
Block 2 k

-0.5

-1
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35

1
Input Outcrop
0.5 Seismic Coeff
Block 3 k

-0.5

-1
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35
Time, s

Figure 6-5. Scattering results for lower bound spectral shape,


Landers EQ record.

0.5
Block 1 k

-0.5

-1
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35

0.5
Block 2 k

-0.5

-1
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35

1
Input Outcrop
Seismic Coeff
0.5
Block 3 k

-0.5

-1
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35
Time, s

Figure 6-6. Scattering results for mid spectral shape, Imperial Valley
EQ record.
60

0.5

Block 1 k
0

-0.5

-1
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35

0.5
Block 2 k

-0.5

-1
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35

1
Input Outcrop
Seismic Coeff
0.5
Block 3 k

-0.5

-1
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35
Time, s

Figure 6-7. Scattering results for mid spectral shape, Loma Prieta
EQ record.

0.5
Block 1 k

-0.5

-1
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35

0.5
Block 2 k

-0.5

-1
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35

1
Input Outcrop
0.5 Seismic Coeff
Block 3 k

-0.5

-1
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35
Time, s

Figure 6-8. Scattering results for mid spectral shape, San Fernando
EQ record.
61

0.5

Block 1 k
0

-0.5

-1
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35

0.5
Block 2 k

-0.5

-1
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35

1
Input Outcrop
Seismic Coeff
0.5
Block 3 k

-0.5

-1
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35
Time, s

Figure 6-9. Scattering results for upper bound spectral shape, Imperial
Valley EQ record.

0.5
Block 1 k

-0.5

-1
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35

0.5
Block 2 k

-0.5

-1
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35

1
Input Outcrop
Seismic Coeff
0.5
Block 3 k

-0.5

-1
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35
Time, s

Figure 6-10. Scattering results for upper bound spectral shape, Turkey
EQ record.
62

0.5

Block 1 k
0

-0.5

-1
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35

0.5
Block 2 k

-0.5

-1
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35

1
Input Outcrop
0.5 Seismic Coeff
Block 3 k

-0.5

-1
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35
Time, s

Figure 6-11. Scattering results for upper bound spectral shape, El Centro
EQ record.

block. However, the change appears to be much smaller (on analyses is presented for retaining walls. The retaining wall was
the order of 10 percent among the three blocks). used to evaluate wave scattering reduction factors (termed an
Such variations seem insignificant compared to scattering α factor) which could be applied to a site-adjusted PGA to
analyses involving the vertical dimensions of the soil mass. This determine an equivalent maximum average seismic coefficient.
observation can be explained by prevalent assumptions in wave This equivalent seismic coefficient was than applied to the soil
propagation phenomena interpreted from strong motion data. mass for force-based design.
For example, data from closely spaced strong motion arrays in-
dicate that the wave passage effect in the lateral direction in
6.1.1.5 Conclusions from Scattering Analyses
space tends to be correlated to a very high apparent wave speed
for Slopes
(say 2.0 to 3.5 km/sec) range, whereas the apparent wave speed
in the vertical direction (for example, from downhole arrays) From these studies using the three sets of time histories for
is related to shear wave velocity at the site. The apparent wave each spectral shape (lower bound, mid, and upper bound),
speed in the horizontal direction would typically be 10 to reduction factors that can be applied to the peak ground ac-
20 times the apparent wave speed in the vertical direction. This celeration were estimated. For the 30-foot slope, these scat-
would imply that the wave length in the vertical direction tering factors will be on the order of 0.5 for the lower bound
would be much smaller than the horizontal direction. Consis- spectral shape, 0.6 for the mid spectral shape, and 0.7 for the
tent with this observation, the wave scattering analyses used an upper bound spectral shape. For slopes higher than 30 feet,
identical input motion at all the nodes across the base of the further reductions due to canceling of high frequency mo-
finite-element mesh. Given the uniform motion input at the tions in the vertical dimension due to incoherency effects
base, along with the side boundary conditions chosen to create from the wave scattering phenomenon could be anticipated,
a vertically propagating shear wave, a relatively minor variation as shown in the wall height study.
in the motion in the horizontal direction should be expected. The primary parameter controlling the scaling factor for a
Wave scattering analyses presented in this section for height-dependent seismic coefficient is related to the frequency
slopes provide a qualitative illustration of the wave scattering content of the input motion with a lower seismic coefficient
phenomena. A more comprehensive set of wave scattering associated with the high, frequency-rich lower bound spectrum
63

input motion. Hence a smaller scaling factor (less than unity) spectral shape. Ratios of peak average seismic coefficient re-
should be expected for a CEUS seismological condition and sponse versus input motion (as measured by PGA) tabulated in
for rock sites. In typical design applications, both the seismo- the third column from right in the table were used to develop
logical and geotechnical conditions should be implicit in the the scaling factors (defined as α) applied to the PGA to deter-
adopted reference ground surface outcrop design response mine the peak average seismic coefficients acting on a block of
spectrum following seismic loading criteria defined by the soil for pseudo-static seismic analyses of the retaining walls.
NCHRP 20-07 Project. Results in Table 6-1 are based on the average ground motions
The second parameter controlling the scaling factor for within each set of analyses. The time-dependent change in
seismic coefficients is related to the height of the soil mass PGA, PGV, and S1 is not considered. Use of the scaling factor
(that is, slope height in the context of the presented slope re- does not, therefore, account for changes in inertial loading
sponse analysis) or the height of a retaining wall as discussed with time. In other words the scaled PGA is the peak loading
below. In general, the scattering analyses show that the effect and will be less for most of the earthquake duration. The
of height on PGV (a parameter of interest for Newmark slid- average inertial force over the duration of shaking can vary
ing block analyses) is relatively small. from less than one-third to two-thirds of the peak value,
depending on the magnitude, location, and other characteris-
tics of the earthquake.
6.1.2 Scattering Analyses
Similar to the observation made earlier from the slope scat-
for Retaining Walls
tering analyses, the variation in the α coefficient was not very
The wave scattering analyses discussed in the previous sec- significant among the three failure blocks evaluated, and
tion have been extended from a slope configuration to con- therefore, results from the three failure blocks were averaged.
figurations commonly encountered for retaining wall de- Also, results from the three time histories each matched to the
signs. Wave scattering analyses were conducted to establish same response spectrum were averaged. The resultant solu-
the relationship between peak ground acceleration at a given tions for the α coefficients categorized by wall height and the
point in the ground to the equivalent seismic coefficient. In spectral shapes (that is, upper bound, mid and lower bound
this context the equivalent seismic coefficient was the coeffi- spectral shapes) are summarized in Figure 6-13.
cient that should be applied to a soil mass to determine the The reduction in PGA shown in the above figure arises
peak force amplitude used in pseudo-static, force-based de- from a wave scattering reduction in the peak PGA for design
sign of a retaining wall. The product of the equivalent seismic analyses. There are other factors that provide further justifi-
coefficient and soil mass defined the inertial load that would cation for reducing the PGA value, as discussed here:
be applied to wall surface from the retained backfill.
1. Average versus peak response. As noted previously, a
pseudo-static analysis treats the seismic coefficient as a con-
6.1.2.1 Retaining Wall Model
stant horizontal static force applied to the soil mass. How-
Figure 6-12 provides a schematic description of the wave ever, the peak earthquake load from a dynamic response
scattering analyses performed for the retaining wall problem. analysis occurs for a very short time—with the average seis-
Similar to the slope scattering study described in the previous mic force typically ranging from 30 to 70 percent of the peak
subsection, the QUAD-4M program was used during these depending on the characteristics of the specific earthquake
analyses. event. Hence further reduction in the force demand reflect-
Nine input motions were used for the analyses. Features of ing the overall average cyclic loading condition might be
these records are described in Appendix E. These records justified, where a structural system is designed for some de-
were used as input motion at the base of the finite-element gree of ductile yielding. The acceptability of an additional
mesh. The analyses included use of a transmitting boundary time-related reduction should be decided by the structural
element available within the QUAD-4M program. A free design, since it will depend on the method of analysis and
boundary at the wall face was assumed. the design philosophy. The Project Team decided that
a-priori reduction in the PGA after adjustment for wave
scattering by time-related factor was not appropriate, and
6.1.2.2 Results of Wave Scattering Analyses
therefore this additional reduction has not been introduced
for Retaining Walls
into the design approach. This decision also means that it is
Table 6-1 summarizes the results from the wave scatter- very important for the geotechnical engineer to very clearly
ing analyses for the retaining structure. Data presented in define whether the resulting seismic coefficient is the in-
Table 6-1 are from 36 QUAD-4M runs covering four wall stantaneous peak or an average peak corrected for the du-
heights, three spectral shapes, and three time histories for each ration of ground shaking.
64

PLANE 3
PLANE 2
PLANE 1
20'
20-FEET WALL MESH

PLANE 3
PLANE 2
PLANE 1
40-FEET WALL MESH
40'

PLANE 3
PLANE 2
PLANE 1

80' 80-FEET WALL MESH

PLANE 3
PLANE 2
PLANE 1 0 100'

150'
150-FEET WALL MESH

Figure 6-12. Models used in scattering analyses.

2. Load fuse from wall movements. Another justification for retaining wall is designed to slide at a specific threshold
designing to a value less than the PGA arises from the fact load level as discussed in Chapter 7.
that many retaining walls are implicitly designed for wall
movements when the wall is designed for an active earth From Table 6-1 it can be observed that the ratio of equiva-
pressure condition. The wave scattering analyses in this lent seismic coefficient (for a block of soil) to the PGA (at a
evaluation were based on linear elastic analyses and fur- single point on the ground surface) did not change drastically
ther reduction in the force demand is justified when the for the three failure planes studied in the analyses. However,
65

Table 6-1. Results of scattering analyses.

Ratio of Seismic
Coefficient Response
Seismic Coefficient Response Input Motion vs. Input Motion

PGV PGV PGV PGV


I Model File Name Block (max) (max) Sa1 File Name (max) (max) Sa1 PGA PGV Sa1

g in/s g g in/s g g in/s g


1 20 ft wall w20-cap-.Q4K 1 0.579 13.506 0.33 CAP-L.acc 0.894 15.370 0.39 0.65 0.88 0.85
2 20 ft wall w20-cap-.Q4K 2 0.590 13.862 0.34 CAP-L.acc 0.894 15.370 0.39 0.66 0.90 0.87
3 20 ft wall w20-cap-.Q4K 3 0.518 12.344 0.30 CAP-L.acc 0.894 15.370 0.39 0.58 0.80 0.77
4 20 ft wall w20-day-.Q4K 1 0.740 10.486 0.34 DAY-L.acc 0.936 11.684 0.39 0.79 0.90 0.87
5 20 ft wall w20-day-.Q4K 2 0.730 10.705 0.35 DAY-L.acc 0.936 11.684 0.39 0.78 0.92 0.90
6 20 ft wall w20-day-.Q4K 3 0.670 9.286 0.31 DAY-L.acc 0.936 11.684 0.39 0.72 0.79 0.79
7 20 ft wall w20-lan-.Q4K 1 0.759 12.033 0.31 LAN-L.acc 0.771 15.173 0.36 0.98 0.79 0.86
8 20 ft wall w20-lan-.Q4K 2 0.761 12.297 0.32 LAN-L.acc 0.771 15.173 0.36 0.99 0.81 0.89
9 20 ft wall w20-lan-.Q4K 3 0.699 10.173 0.28 LAN-L.acc 0.771 15.173 0.36 0.91 0.67 0.78
Average of Above 9 0.672 11.632 0.320 L.B. Spectrum 0.867 14.076 0.380 0.783 0.830 0.842

10 20 ft wall w20-imp-.Q4K 1 0.670 31.047 0.97 IMP-M.acc 0.812 37.054 1.12 0.83 0.84 0.87
11 20 ft wall w20-imp-.Q4K 2 0.685 31.884 1.00 IMP-M.acc 0.812 37.054 1.12 0.84 0.86 0.89
12 20 ft wall w20-imp-.Q4K 3 0.602 28.298 0.87 IMP-M.acc 0.812 37.054 1.12 0.74 0.76 0.78
13 20 ft wall w20-lom-.Q4K 1 0.992 31.034 1.06 LOM-M.acc 1.026 32.275 1.20 0.97 0.96 0.88
14 20 ft wall w20-lom-.Q4K 2 1.010 31.719 1.08 LOM-M.acc 1.026 32.275 1.20 0.98 0.98 0.90
15 20 ft wall w20-lom-.Q4K 3 0.855 27.454 0.94 LOM-M.acc 1.026 32.275 1.20 0.83 0.85 0.78
16 20 ft wall w20-san-.Q4K 1 0.742 40.453 1.03 SAN-M.acc 0.948 42.312 1.18 0.78 0.96 0.87
17 20 ft wall w20-san-.Q4K 2 0.758 41.297 1.06 SAN-M.acc 0.948 42.312 1.18 0.80 0.98 0.90
18 20 ft wall w20-san-.Q4K 3 0.655 33.340 0.92 SAN-M.acc 0.948 42.312 1.18 0.69 0.79 0.78
Average of above 9 0.774 32.947 0.992 Mid Spectrum 0.929 37.214 1.167 0.830 0.886 0.850

19 20 ft wall w20-elc-.Q4K 1 0.986 40.725 1.56 ELC-U.acc 1.083 45.320 1.78 0.91 0.90 0.88
20 20 ft wall w20-elc-.Q4K 2 0.981 41.631 1.60 ELC-U.acc 1.083 45.320 1.78 0.91 0.92 0.90
21 20 ft wall w20-elc-.Q4K 3 0.890 35.655 1.37 ELC-U.acc 1.083 45.320 1.78 0.82 0.79 0.77
22 20 ft wall w20-erz-.Q4K 1 1.068 43.290 1.43 ERZ-U.acc 1.089 52.950 1.69 0.98 0.82 0.85
23 20 ft wall w20-erz-.Q4K 2 1.094 44.468 1.47 ERZ-U.acc 1.089 52.950 1.69 1.00 0.84 0.87
24 20 ft wall w20-erz-.Q4K 3 0.978 39.040 1.26 ERZ-U.acc 1.089 52.950 1.69 0.90 0.74 0.75
25 20 ft wall w20-tab-.Q4K 1 1.091 41.827 1.54 TAB-U.acc 1.060 46.922 1.76 1.03 0.89 0.88
26 20 ft wall w20-tab-.Q4K 2 1.103 42.756 1.58 TAB-U.acc 1.060 46.922 1.76 1.04 0.91 0.90
27 20 ft wall w20-tab-.Q4K 3 0.938 37.597 1.38 TAB-U.acc 1.060 46.922 1.76 0.88 0.80 0.78
Average of Above 9 1.014 40.777 1.466 U.B. Spectrum 1.077 48.397 1.743 0.942 0.845 0.840

28 40 ft wall w40-cap-.Q4K 1 0.543 14.021 0.32 CAP-L.acc 0.894 15.370 0.39 0.61 0.91 0.82
29 40 ft wall w40-cap-.Q4K 2 0.530 14.543 0.34 CAP-L.acc 0.894 15.370 0.39 0.59 0.95 0.87
30 40 ft wall w40-cap-.Q4K 3 0.470 13.677 0.33 CAP-L.acc 0.894 15.370 0.39 0.53 0.89 0.85
31 40 ft wall w40-day-.Q4K 1 0.441 12.190 0.36 DAY-L.acc 0.936 11.684 0.39 0.47 1.04 0.92
32 40 ft wall w40-day-.Q4K 2 0.410 12.414 0.38 DAY-L.acc 0.936 11.684 0.39 0.44 1.06 0.97
33 40 ft wall w40-day-.Q4K 3 0.385 11.284 0.36 DAY-L.acc 0.936 11.684 0.39 0.41 0.97 0.92
34 40 ft wall w40-lan-.Q4K 1 0.449 11.961 0.33 LAN-L.acc 0.771 15.173 0.36 0.58 0.79 0.92
35 40 ft wall w40-lan-.Q4K 2 0.427 12.771 0.34 LAN-L.acc 0.771 15.173 0.36 0.55 0.84 0.94
36 40 ft wall w40-lan-.Q4K 3 0.411 12.045 0.33 LAN-L.acc 0.771 15.173 0.36 0.53 0.79 0.92
Average of Above 9 0.452 12.767 0.343 L.B. Spectrum 0.867 14.076 0.380 0.524 0.916 0.904

37 40 ft wall w40-imp-.Q4K 1 0.734 31.666 0.99 IMP-M.acc 0.812 37.054 1.12 0.90 0.85 0.88
38 40 ft wall w40-imp-.Q4K 2 0.745 33.017 1.05 IMP-M.acc 0.812 37.054 1.12 0.92 0.89 0.94
39 40 ft wall w40-imp-.Q4K 3 0.696 31.165 0.99 IMP-M.acc 0.812 37.054 1.12 0.86 0.84 0.88
40 40 ft wall w40-lom-.Q4K 1 0.968 35.371 1.09 LOM-M.acc 1.026 32.275 1.20 0.94 1.10 0.91
41 40 ft wall w40-lom-.Q4K 2 0.993 37.374 1.15 LOM-M.acc 1.026 32.275 1.20 0.97 1.16 0.96
42 40 ft wall w40-lom-.Q4K 3 0.903 35.285 1.09 LOM-M.acc 1.026 32.275 1.20 0.88 1.09 0.91
43 40 ft wall w40-san-.Q4K 1 0.804 40.479 1.07 SAN-M.acc 0.948 42.312 1.18 0.85 0.96 0.91
44 40 ft wall w40-san-.Q4K 2 0.839 42.883 1.13 SAN-M.acc 0.948 42.312 1.18 0.89 1.01 0.96
45 40 ft wall w40-san-.Q4K 3 0.772 39.551 1.06 SAN-M.acc 0.948 42.312 1.18 0.81 0.93 0.90
Average of Above 9 0.828 36.310 1.069 Mid Spectrum 0.929 37.214 1.167 0.891 0.982 0.916

46 40 ft wall w40-elc-.Q4K 1 0.785 43.411 1.60 ELC-U.acc 1.083 45.320 1.78 0.72 0.96 0.90
47 40 ft wall w40-elc-.Q4K 2 0.814 45.795 1.69 ELC-U.acc 1.083 45.320 1.78 0.75 1.01 0.95
48 40 ft wall w40-elc-.Q4K 3 0.766 43.155 1.60 ELC-U.acc 1.083 45.320 1.78 0.71 0.95 0.90
49 40 ft wall w40-erz-.Q4K 1 1.229 45.744 1.48 ERZ-U.acc 1.089 52.950 1.69 1.13 0.86 0.88
50 40 ft wall w40-erz-.Q4K 2 1.267 48.699 1.56 ERZ-U.acc 1.089 52.950 1.69 1.16 0.92 0.92
51 40 ft wall w40-erz-.Q4K 3 1.179 45.240 1.47 ERZ-U.acc 1.089 52.950 1.69 1.08 0.85 0.87
52 40 ft wall w40-tab-.Q4K 1 1.017 44.276 1.55 TAB-U.acc 1.060 46.922 1.76 0.96 0.94 0.88
53 40 ft wall w40-tab-.Q4K 2 1.020 46.188 1.63 TAB-U.acc 1.060 46.922 1.76 0.96 0.98 0.93
54 40 ft wall w40-tab-.Q4K 3 0.913 43.438 1.55 TAB-U.acc 1.060 46.922 1.76 0.86 0.93 0.88
Average of Above 9 0.999 45.105 1.570 U.B. Spectrum 1.077 48.397 1.743 0.927 0.935 0.900

55 80 ft wall w80-cap-.Q4K 1 0.380 14.464 0.43 CAP-L.acc 0.894 15.370 0.39 0.43 0.94 1.10
56 80 ft wall w80-cap-.Q4K 2 0.371 14.270 0.43 CAP-L.acc 0.894 15.370 0.39 0.41 0.93 1.10
57 80 ft wall w80-cap-.Q4K 3 0.340 13.829 0.42 CAP-L.acc 0.894 15.370 0.39 0.38 0.90 1.08
58 80 ft wall w80-day-.Q4K 1 0.240 9.725 0.41 DAY-L.acc 0.936 11.684 0.39 0.26 0.83 1.05

(continued on next page)


66

Table 6-1. (Continued).

Ratio of Seismic
Coefficient Response
Seismic Coefficient Response Input Motion vs. Input Motion

PGV PGV PGV PGV


I Model File Name Block (max) (max) Sa1 File Name (max) (max) Sa1 PGA PGV Sa1

g in/s g g in/s g g in/s g


59 80 ft wall w80-day-.Q4K 2 0.224 9.800 0.41 DAY-L.acc 0.936 11.684 0.39 0.24 0.84 1.05
60 80 ft wall w80-day-.Q4K 3 0.202 9.545 0.40 DAY-L.acc 0.936 11.684 0.39 0.22 0.82 1.03
61 80 ft wall w80-lan-.Q4K 1 0.257 14.593 0.38 LAN-L.acc 0.771 15.173 0.36 0.33 0.96 1.06
62 80 ft wall w80-lan-.Q4K 2 0.243 14.504 0.38 LAN-L.acc 0.771 15.173 0.36 0.32 0.96 1.06
63 80 ft wall w80-lan-.Q4K 3 0.221 13.858 0.37 LAN-L.acc 0.771 15.173 0.36 0.29 0.91 1.03
Average of Above 9 0.275 12.732 0.403 L.B. Spectrum 0.867 14.076 0.380 0.319 0.899 1.061

64 80 ft wall w80-imp-.Q4K 1 0.607 37.264 1.12 IMP-M.acc 0.812 37.054 1.12 0.75 1.01 1.00
65 80 ft wall w80-imp-.Q4K 2 0.599 37.154 1.13 IMP-M.acc 0.812 37.054 1.12 0.74 1.00 1.01
66 80 ft wall w80-imp-.Q4K 3 0.550 36.002 1.10 IMP-M.acc 0.812 37.054 1.12 0.68 0.97 0.98
67 80 ft wall w80-lom-.Q4K 1 0.672 41.988 1.22 LOM-M.acc 1.026 32.275 1.20 0.65 1.30 1.02
68 80 ft wall w80-lom-.Q4K 2 0.635 41.563 1.22 LOM-M.acc 1.026 32.275 1.20 0.62 1.29 1.02
69 80 ft wall w80-lom-.Q4K 3 0.569 39.643 1.19 LOM-M.acc 1.026 32.275 1.20 0.55 1.23 0.99
70 80 ft wall w80-san-.Q4K 1 0.762 45.732 1.24 SAN-M.acc 0.948 42.312 1.18 0.80 1.08 1.05
71 80 ft wall w80-san-.Q4K 2 0.732 44.796 1.23 SAN-M.acc 0.948 42.312 1.18 0.77 1.06 1.04
72 80 ft wall w80-san-.Q4K 3 0.669 42.321 1.18 SAN-M.acc 0.948 42.312 1.18 0.71 1.00 1.00
Average of Above 9 0.644 40.718 1.181 Mid Spectrum 0.929 37.214 1.167 0.697 1.104 1.012

73 80 ft wall w80-elc-.Q4K 1 0.895 42.781 1.76 ELC-U.acc 1.083 45.320 1.78 0.83 0.94 0.99
74 80 ft wall w80-elc-.Q4K 2 0.878 43.230 1.77 ELC-U.acc 1.083 45.320 1.78 0.81 0.95 0.99
75 80 ft wall w80-elc-.Q4K 3 0.828 42.279 1.73 ELC-U.acc 1.083 45.320 1.78 0.76 0.93 0.97
76 80 ft wall w80-erz-.Q4K 1 1.181 52.435 1.77 ERZ-U.acc 1.089 52.950 1.69 1.08 0.99 1.05
77 80 ft wall w80-erz-.Q4K 2 1.135 52.091 1.77 ERZ-U.acc 1.089 52.950 1.69 1.04 0.98 1.05
78 80 ft wall w80-erz-.Q4K 3 1.055 49.750 1.70 ERZ-U.acc 1.089 52.950 1.69 0.97 0.94 1.01
79 80 ft wall w80-tab-.Q4K 1 1.025 43.980 1.83 TAB-U.acc 1.060 46.922 1.76 0.97 0.94 1.04
80 80 ft wall w80-tab-.Q4K 2 1.011 42.697 1.83 TAB-U.acc 1.060 46.922 1.76 0.95 0.91 1.04
81 80 ft wall w80-tab-.Q4K 3 0.936 40.261 1.78 TAB-U.acc 1.060 46.922 1.76 0.88 0.86 1.01
Average of Above 9 0.994 45.500 1.771 U.B. Spectrum 1.077 48.397 1.743 0.922 0.939 1.016

82 120 ft wall w12-cap-.Q4K 1 0.221 12.815 0.47 CAP-L.acc 0.894 15.370 0.39 0.25 0.83 1.21
83 120 ft wall w12-cap-.Q4K 2 0.202 12.610 0.46 CAP-L.acc 0.894 15.370 0.39 0.23 0.82 1.18
84 120 ft wall w12-cap-.Q4K 3 0.199 12.263 0.43 CAP-L.acc 0.894 15.370 0.39 0.22 0.80 1.10
85 120 ft wall w12-day-.Q4K 1 0.195 10.675 0.45 DAY-L.acc 0.936 11.684 0.39 0.21 0.91 1.15
86 120 ft wall w12-day-.Q4K 2 0.176 10.497 0.44 DAY-L.acc 0.936 11.684 0.39 0.19 0.90 1.13
87 120 ft wall w12-day-.Q4K 3 0.189 10.159 0.42 DAY-L.acc 0.936 11.684 0.39 0.20 0.87 1.08
88 120 ft wall w12-lan-.Q4K 1 0.241 14.801 0.44 LAN-L.acc 0.771 15.173 0.36 0.31 0.98 1.22
89 120 ft wall w12-lan-.Q4K 2 0.224 14.223 0.43 LAN-L.acc 0.771 15.173 0.36 0.29 0.94 1.19
90 120 ft wall w12-lan-.Q4K 3 0.203 13.376 0.41 LAN-L.acc 0.771 15.173 0.36 0.26 0.88 1.14
Average of Above 9 0.206 12.380 0.439 L.B. Spectrum 0.867 14.076 0.380 0.240 0.881 1.156

91 120 ft wall w12-imp-.Q4K 1 0.625 40.256 1.24 IMP-M.acc 0.812 37.054 1.12 0.77 1.09 1.11
92 120 ft wall w12-imp-.Q4K 2 0.574 39.312 1.21 IMP-M.acc 0.812 37.054 1.12 0.71 1.06 1.08
93 120 ft wall w12-imp-.Q4K 3 0.516 37.327 1.16 IMP-M.acc 0.812 37.054 1.12 0.64 1.01 1.04
94 120 ft wall w12-lom-.Q4K 1 0.486 39.153 1.33 LOM-M.acc 1.026 32.275 1.20 0.47 1.21 1.11
95 120 ft wall w12-lom-.Q4K 2 0.435 38.141 1.30 LOM-M.acc 1.026 32.275 1.20 0.42 1.18 1.08
96 120 ft wall w12-lom-.Q4K 3 0.450 36.063 1.26 LOM-M.acc 1.026 32.275 1.20 0.44 1.12 1.05
97 120 ft wall w12-san-.Q4K 1 0.521 40.379 1.45 SAN-M.acc 0.948 42.312 1.18 0.55 0.95 1.23
98 120 ft wall w12-san-.Q4K 2 0.504 38.840 1.41 SAN-M.acc 0.948 42.312 1.18 0.53 0.92 1.19
99 120 ft wall w12-san-.Q4K 3 0.449 37.336 1.33 SAN-M.acc 0.948 42.312 1.18 0.47 0.88 1.13
Average of Above 9 0.507 38.534 1.299 Mid Spectrum 0.929 37.214 1.167 0.556 1.047 1.113

100 120 ft wall w12-elc-.Q4K 1 0.863 55.709 1.93 ELC-U.acc 1.083 45.320 1.78 0.80 1.23 1.08
101 120 ft wall w12-elc-.Q4K 2 0.843 53.682 1.90 ELC-U.acc 1.083 45.320 1.78 0.78 1.18 1.07
102 120 ft wall w12-elc-.Q4K 3 0.774 50.337 1.83 ELC-U.acc 1.083 45.320 1.78 0.71 1.11 1.03
103 120 ft wall w12-erz-.Q4K 1 0.921 55.895 1.81 ERZ-U.acc 1.089 52.950 1.69 0.85 1.06 1.07
104 120 ft wall w12-erz-.Q4K 2 0.860 54.019 1.77 ERZ-U.acc 1.089 52.950 1.69 0.79 1.02 1.05
105 120 ft wall w12-erz-.Q4K 3 0.820 50.339 1.68 ERZ-U.acc 1.089 52.950 1.69 0.75 0.95 0.99
106 120 ft wall w12-tab-.Q4K 1 0.874 43.529 2.09 TAB-U.acc 1.060 46.922 1.76 0.82 0.93 1.19
107 120 ft wall w12-tab-.Q4K 2 0.825 41.913 2.03 TAB-U.acc 1.060 46.922 1.76 0.78 0.89 1.15
108 120 ft wall w12-tab-.Q4K 3 0.738 40.690 1.93 TAB-U.acc 1.060 46.922 1.76 0.70 0.87 1.10
Average of Above 9 0.835 49.568 1.886 U.B. Spectrum 1.077 48.397 1.743 0.775 1.027 1.081

this ratio systematically decreased for increasing wall height duction being introduced in this discussion is for wave scat-
and lowering of the spectral shape at long periods. Therefore, tering. Any further reduction for the duration of earthquake
averaging the ratios (shown in the right-most column) from loading should be determined by the structural designer.
the three failure mechanisms evaluated in this study would
seem to be reasonable. Cursory review of the data supports to
6.2 Conclusions
some degree, the presumptive historical practice of adopting
about 1⁄2 to 2⁄3 of PGA for pseudo-static design analysis. How- Figure 6-13 provides a basis for determining a reduction
ever, as noted above, rather than the prevalent view that the factor (that is, the α factor) to be applied to the peak ground
reduction is to account for the time variation in PGA, the re- acceleration used when determining the pseudo-static force
67

Figure 6-13. Resultant wave scattering  coefficients for retaining


wall design.

in the design of retaining walls and slopes. Further discussion difficulties for the designer. The selection of the appropri-
of the use of the α factor is provided in Chapter 7. ate spectra shape should focus on the 1-second ordinate.
Results of these height-dependent seismic coefficient studies • Starting from the design response spectrum, the designer
are general enough that they can be applied to either the seis- would normalize the response spectrum by the peak ground
mic design of retaining walls, embankments and slopes, or acceleration to develop the normalized spectral shape for the
buried structures. The design process involves first determin- specific project site. This spectrum is then overlaid on the
ing the response spectra for the site. This determination is spectral shape shown on Figure 5-4 to determine the most
made using either guidance in the 2008 AASHTO LRFD Bridge appropriate spectral curve shape for the design condition.
Design Specifications or from site-specific seismic hazard • After selecting the appropriate spectral shape (that is, in
studies. Note that spectra in the 2007 AASHTO LRFD Bridge terms of UB, Mid, and LB spectral shapes), Figure 6-13 is
Design Specifications do not distinguish between CEUS and used to select the appropriate reduction factor (the α factor).
WUS shapes and are not consistent with this recommended
approach; however, the newly adopted AASHTO ground The approach described above was further simplified for
motion maps will account for this difference. The only use in the proposed Specifications by relating the α factor
assumption made is that the ground motion design criteria to height, PGA, and S1 in a simple equation, as discussed in
should be defined by a 5 percent damped design response spec- Chapter 7. Either the approach discussed in this chapter or the
trum for the referenced free-field ground surface condition at equation given in Chapter 7 is an acceptable method of
the project site. determining the α factor.
Once the design ground motion is established for a site, the As discussed earlier, wave scattering theory represents one of
analyses could proceed following the methodology outlined the several justifications for selecting a pseudo-static seismic co-
in this chapter. This methodology involves defining the seis- efficient lower than the peak ground acceleration. In addition
mic coefficient for the evaluation of retaining walls, slopes to the wave scattering α factor, additional reduction factors may
and embankments, or buried structures, as follows: be applied as appropriate, including that some permanent
movement is allowed in the design, as discussed in Chapter 7.
• The design ground motion demand is characterized by a Consideration also can be given to the use of a time-averaged
design response spectrum that takes into account the seis- seismic coefficient based on the average level of ground shak-
mic hazard and site response issues for the site. This re- ing, rather than the peak, as long as the structural designer con-
quirement is rather standard, and should not present undue firms that the average inertial force is permissible for design.
68

CHAPTER 7

Retaining Walls

This chapter summarizes results of studies conducted for Figure 7-1 (FHWA 1996), which uses terminology adopted in
the seismic analysis and design of retaining walls. The primary the AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications. The cut and
objectives of these studies were to: fill designations refer to how the wall is constructed, not nec-
essarily the nature of the earthwork (cut or fill) associated
• Address limitations with current methods used to estimate with the wall. For example, a fill wall, such as a MSE wall or a
seismic earth pressures on retaining walls. These limita- nongravity cantilever wall, may be used to retain earth fill for
tions include difficulties in using the M-O equations for a major highway cut as illustrated in the representative Fig-
certain combinations of seismic coefficient and backslope ures 7-2 to 7-5 showing wall types. This becomes an impor-
above the retaining structure or for backfill conditions tant factor in the subsequent discussions related to external
where soils are not cohesionless or are not uniform. seismic stability of such walls.
• Develop guidance on the selection of the seismic coefficient Current AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications address
used to conduct either a force-based or displacement-based seismic design of retaining wall types as summarized in the
evaluation of the seismic performance of retaining walls. following paragraphs:
There is considerable confusion in current practice on the
selection of the seismic coefficient, particularly for different 1. Conventional gravity and semi-gravity cantilever walls
wall types. (Article 11.6.5). The seismic design provisions cite the use
• Provide recommendations on methodologies to use for the of the M-O method (specified in Appendix A, Article
seismic analysis and design of alternate wall types that can A11.1.1.1) to estimate equivalent static forces for seismic
be used to develop LRFD specifications. loads. Reductions due to lateral wall movements are per-
mitted as described in Appendix A (A11.1.1.1).
The approach taken to meet these objectives involved using
2. Nongravity cantilever walls (Article 11.8.6). Seismic design
results from the ground motion and wave scattering studies
provisions are not explicit. Rather reference is made to an
discussed in the previous two chapters. Specifically, the ap-
accepted methodology, albeit the M-O equations are sug-
proach for determining ground motions and displacements
gested as a means to compute active and passive pressures
summarized in Chapter 5 provides the information needed
provided a seismic coefficient of 0.5 times the site-adjusted
for a force-based design and for determining retaining wall
PGA is used.
displacements. The information in Chapter 6 is used for mod-
ifying the site-adjusted PGA to account for wave scattering ef- 3. Anchored walls (Article 11.9.6). Seismic design provi-
fects. With this information two methodologies are provided sions are not explicit, and reference is made to M-O
for the seismic analysis and design of retaining walls. The first method for cantilever walls. However, Article A11.1.1.3
involves use of the classic M-O equations, and the second indicates that,
uses a more GLE methodology for cases where the M-O pro- For abutments restrained against lateral movement by
cedure is not applicable or where an estimate of retaining wall tiebacks or batter piles, lateral pressures induced by inertia
forces in the backfill will be greater than those given by the
displacements is desired.
Mononobe-Okabe analysis.
The discussion goes on to suggest using a factor of 1.5
7.1 Current Design Practice
in conjunction with site-adjusted PGA for design “where
Various wall types are commonly used for transportation doubt exists that an abutment can yield sufficiently to
systems. A useful classification of these wall types is shown in mobilize soil strength.”
69

Figure 7-1. Earth retaining system classification (after FHWA, 1996).

Figure 7-2. Wall types (after FHWA, 1996).


70

Completed MSE wall Geotextile wall

Figure 7-3. MSE wall types (after FHWA, 1996).

Figure 7-4. MSE walls—construction configurations.


71

Figure 7-5. Cut slope construction.

4. MSE walls (Article 11.10.7). Seismic design provisions are 7.2 The M-O Method and Limitations
very explicit and are defined for both external and internal
stability. For external stability the dynamic component of The analytical basis for the M-O solution for calculating
the active earth pressure is computed using the M-O equa- seismic active earth pressure is shown in Figure 7-6 (taken
tion. Reductions due to lateral wall movement are per- from Appendix A11.1.1.1 of the AASHTO LRFD Bridge
mitted for gravity walls. Fifty percent of the dynamic earth Design Specifications). This figure identifies the equations for
seismic active earth pressures (PAE), the seismic active earth
pressure is combined with a wall inertial load to evaluate
pressure coefficient (KAE), the seismic passive earth pres-
stability, with the acceleration coefficient modified to ac-
sure (PPE), and the seismic active pressure coefficient (KPE).
count for potential amplification of ground accelerations.
Implicit to these equations is that the soil within the soil is
In the case of internal stability, reinforcement elements are
a homogeneous, cohesionless material within the active or
designed for horizontal internal inertial forces acting on
passive pressure wedges.
the static active pressure zone.
5. Prefabricated modular walls (Article 11.11.6). Seismic de-
7.2.1 Seismic Active Earth Pressures
sign provisions are similar to those for gravity walls.
6. Soil-nail walls. No static or seismic provisions are currently In effect, the solution for seismic active earth pressures is
provided in AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications. analogous to that for the conventional Coulomb active pres-
However, an FHWA manual for the design of nail walls sure solution for cohesionless backfill, with the addition of a
(FHWA, 2003) suggests following the same general pro- horizontal seismic load. Representative graphs showing the
cedures as used for the design of MSE walls, which involves effect of seismic loading on the active pressure coefficient KAE
the use of the M-O equation with modifications for iner- are shown in Figure 7-7. The effect of vertical seismic loading
tial effects. is traditionally neglected. The rationale for neglecting verti-
cal loading is generally attributed to the fact that the higher
The use of the M-O equations to compute seismic active frequency vertical accelerations will be out of phase with the
and passive earth pressures is a dominant factor in wall design. horizontal accelerations and will have positive and negative
Limitations and design issues are summarized in the follow- contributions to wall pressures, which on average can rea-
ing sections. sonably be neglected for design.
72

Seismic Active Earth Pressure


PAE = 0.5 γ H 2 (1 − kv ) K AE
Figure 7-7. Effect of seismic coefficient and soil
friction angle on active pressure coefficient.
Seismic Passive Earth Pressure
PPE = 0.5 γ H 2 (1 − kv ) K PE
of 38° in a φ = 35° material. The M-O solution increases sig-
where nificantly if the seismic coefficient increases to 0.25 for the
same case, as the failure plane angle decreases to 31°. In prac-
cos 2 ( φ − θ − β )
K AE = tice, however, as shown in Figures 7-3 to 7-5, the failure plane
cos θ cos 2 β coos ( δ + β + θ ) would usually intersect firm soils or rock in the cut slope
−2 behind the backfill rather than the slope angle defined by a
⎡ sin ( φ + δ ) sin ( φ − θ − i ) ⎤
× ⎢1 − ⎥ purely cohesionless soil, as normally assumed during the
⎣ cos ( δ + β + θ ) cos ( i − β ) ⎦ M-O analyses. Consequently, in this situation the M-O solu-
cos 2 ( φ − θ + β ) tion is not valid.
K PE = A designer could utilize an M-O approach for simple non-
cos θ cos 2 β cos ( δ − β + θ )
homogeneous cases such as shown in Figure 7-10 using the
⎡ sin ( φ + δ ) sin ( φ − θ + i ) ⎤
−2
following procedure, assuming φ1 < φ2:
× ⎢1 − ⎥
⎣ cos ( δ − β + θ ) cos ( i − β ) ⎦

γ = unit weight of soil (ksf)


H = height of wall (ft)
φ = friction angle of soil (°)
θ = arc tan (kh/(1 − kv))(°)
δ = angle of friction between soil and wall (°)
kh = horizontal acceleration coefficient (dim.)
kv = vertical acceleration coefficient (dim.)
i = backfill slope angle (°)
β = slope of wall to the vertical, negative as shown (°)
Figure 7-6. M-O solution.

Figure 7-8 shows the effect of backfill slope angle on KAE


as a function of seismic coefficient, and illustrates the design
dilemma commonly encountered of rapidly increasing earth
pressure values with modest increases in slope angles. Fig-
ure 7-9 indicates the underlying reason, namely the fact that
the failure plane angle α approaches that of the backfill slope
angle ω, resulting in an infinite mass of the active failure Figure 7-8. Effect of backfill slope on the seismic
wedge. For example, for a slope angle of 18.43° (3H:1V slope) active earth pressure coefficient using M-O
and a seismic coefficient of 0.2, the failure plane is at an angle equation, where CF = seismic coefficient.
73

Figure 7-9. Active failure plane angle based on M-O equation.

1. Calculate the active pressure PAE1 and active failure plane M-O method may be used, such as the well-known, graphical
angle (αAE1) for the backfill material. Graphs such as Fig- Culmann method illustrated in Figure 3-1. The principles of
ures 7-8 and 7-9 may be used for simple cases. the Culmann wedge method have been incorporated in the
2. If αAE1<α1/2, the solution stands and PAE1 gives the correct Caltrans’ computer program CT-FLEX (Shamsabadi, 2006).
seismic active pressure on the wall. This program will search for the critical failure surface corre-
3. If αAE1 >α1/2, calculate the active pressure (PAE2) and active sponding to the maximum value of PAE for nonuniform slopes
failure plane angle (αAE2) for the native soil material. For and backfills, including surcharge pressures.
cohesive (c-φ) soils, solutions described in Section 7.3 may For uniform cohesive backfill soils with c and φ strength
be used. Also, calculate the active pressure (PAEi) for the parameters, solutions using M-O analysis assumptions have
given interface between two soils from limit equilibrium been developed, as discussed in Section 7.3. However, the
equations. The larger of PAEi and PAE2 gives the seismic ac- most versatile approach for complex backfill and cut slope
tive pressure on the wall. geometries is to utilize conventional slope stability programs,
as described in Section 7.4.
In most cases, the native soil cut will be stable, in which
case it will be clear that the active pressure corresponding 7.2.2 Seismic Passive Earth Pressures
to the cut angle α1/2 will govern. For more complex cases in-
volving nonuniform backslope profiles and backfill/cut slope The M-O equation for passive earth pressures also is shown
soils, numerical procedures using the same principles of the in Figure 7-6. The seismic passive pressure becomes impor-
tant for some wall types that develop resistance from loading
of the embedded portion of the wall. If the depth of embed-
ment is limited, as in the case of many gravity, semi-gravity,
and MSE walls, the importance of the passive earth pressure
to overall equilibrium is small, and therefore, using the static
passive earth pressure is often acceptable.
In the case of nongravity cantilever walls and anchored walls
the structural members below the excavation depth depend
on the passive earth pressure for stability and therefore the
effects of seismic loading on passive earth pressures can be an
important contribution. Work by Davies et al. (1986) shows
that the seismic passive earth pressure can decrease by 25 per-
cent relative to the static passive earth pressure for a seismic
Figure 7-10. Application of M-O method for coefficient of 0.4. This decrease is for a φ = 35 degree material
nonhomogeneous soil. and no backslope or wall friction.
74

Although the reduction in passive earth pressure during 7.3.1 Evaluation of the Contribution
seismic loading is accounted for in the M-O equation for from Cohesion
passive pressures (Equation A11.1.1.1-4 in AASHTO LRFD
Most natural cohesionless soils have some fines content
Bridge Design Specifications), the M-O equation for passive
that often contributes to cohesion, particularly for short-term
earth pressures is based on a granular soil and Coulomb
loading conditions. Similarly, cohesionless backfills are rarely
failure theory. Various studies have shown that Coulomb
fully saturated, and partial saturation would provide for some
theory is unconservative in certain situations. Similar to the
apparent cohesion, even for clean sands. In addition, it appears
M-O equation for active earth pressure, the M-O equation
to be common practice in some states, to allow use of backfill
for passive earth pressure also does not include the contri-
soils with 30 percent or more fines content (possibly contain-
butions of any cohesive content in the soil. The preferred
ing some clay fraction), particularly for MSE walls. Hence the
approach for passive earth pressure determination is to use
likelihood in these cases of some cohesion is very high. The
log spiral procedures, similar to the preferred approach for
effect of cohesion, whether actual or apparent, is an impor-
gravity loading. Shamsabadi et al. (2007) have published a
tant issue to be considered in practical design problems.
generalized approach that follows the log spiral procedure,
The M-O equations have been extended to c-φ soils by
while accounting both for the inertial forces within the soil
Prakash and Saran (1966), where solutions were obtained for
wedge and the cohesive content within the soil.
cases including the effect of tension cracks and wall adhesion.
A key consideration during the determination of static
Similar solutions also have been discussed by Richards and
passive pressures is the wall friction that occurs at the soil-
Shi (1994) and by Chen and Liu (1990).
wall interface. Common practice is to assume that some wall
To further illustrate this issue, analyses were conducted by
friction will occur for static loading. The amount of inter-
deriving the M-O equations for active earth pressures and
face friction for static loading is often assumed to range from
extending it from only a φ soil failure criterion to a generalized
50 to 80 percent of the soil friction angle. Similar guidance
c-φ soil failure criterion. Essentially, limit equilibrium analyses
is not available for seismic loading. In the absence of any
were conducted using trial wedges. The active earth pressure
guidance, the static interface friction value often is used for
value (PAE) was computed to satisfy the condition of moment
seismic design.
equilibrium of each of the combinations of the assumed trial
Another important consideration when using the seismic
wedge and soil shear strength values over the failure surface.
passive earth pressure is the amount of deformation required
The configurations of the trial wedges were varied until the
to mobilize this force. The deformation to mobilize the pas- relative maximum PAE value was obtained for various hori-
sive earth pressure during static loading is usually assumed zontal seismic coefficient kh. The planar failure mechanism is
to be large, say 2 to 5 percent of the embedded wall height, retained in the analyses and is a reasonable assumption for the
depending on the type of soil (that is, granular soils will be active earth pressure problem. Zero wall cohesion was assumed
closer to the lower limit while cohesive soils are closer to the and tension cracks were not included.
upper limit). Only limited guidance is available for seismic
loading (for example, see Shamsabadi et al., 2007), and there- 7.3.2 Results of M-O Analyses for Soils
fore the displacement to mobilize the seismic passive earth with Cohesion
pressure is often assumed to be the same as for static loading.
Figure 7-11 and Figure 7-12 present active earth pressure co-
efficient charts for two different soil friction angles with differ-
7.3 M-O Earth Pressures ent values of cohesion for horizontal backfill, assuming no ten-
for Cohesive Soils sion cracks and wall adhesion. Within each chart, earth pressure
The M-O equation has been used to establish the appro- coefficients are presented as a function of the seismic coefficient
priate earth pressure coefficient (KAE) for a given seismic (kh,) and various values of cohesion (c). The c value was nor-
malized by the product γ  H where γ is the unit weight of soil
coefficient kh. Although it is possible to use the Coulomb
and H is the wall height in the presented design charts.
method to develop earth pressure equations or charts that
The following illustrates both the use and the importance
include the contribution of any cohesive content, the avail-
of the cohesive contribution:
able M-O earth pressure coefficient equations and charts
have been derived for a purely cohesionless (frictional) soil 1. For a typical compacted backfill friction angle of 40 degrees,
where the soil failure criteria would be the Mohr-Coulomb the c/γ  H would be about 0.083 and 0.167 for a slope height
failure criterion, parameterized by the soil friction angle, φ. (H) of 20 feet and 10 feet, respectively (for a γ = 120 pcf in
However, experience from limit equilibrium slope stability combination of a small cohesion value c = 200 psf).
analyses shows that the stability of a given slope is very sensi- 2. From Figure 7-12 (for φ = 40 degrees), it can seen that the
tive to the soil cohesion, even for a very small cohesion. resultant design force coefficients Kae for a seismic coefficient
75

Figure 7-11. Seismic coefficient charts for c- soils for   35.

kh = 0.3 would be (i) 0.4 for no cohesion; (ii) 0.25 for a wall sure imparted to the retaining wall during a seismic event. This
height 20 feet with 200 psf cohesion, and (iii) be 0.1 for a wall phenomenon could be a factor in explaining the good per-
height at 10 feet with 200 psf cohesion. formance of retaining walls in past earthquakes.
To illustration this, traditionally reduction factors on the
7.3.3 Implication to Design order of about 0.5 have been applied to the site-adjusted PGA
From this example, it can be observed that a small amount to determine the seismic coefficient used in wall design. Wall
of cohesion would have a significant effect in reducing the movement is a recognized justification for the reduction fac-
dynamic active earth pressure for design. The reduction for tor as previously discussed. However, the wall movement con-
typical design situations could be on the order of about 50 per- cept may not be correct for retaining walls supported on piles,
cent to 75 percent. For many combinations of smaller kh con- particularly if battered piles are used to limit the movement of
ditions (which would be very prevalent for CEUS conditions) the wall. In this case the contributions of a small amount of
and also shorter wall heights, a rather small cohesion value cohesion (for example, 200 psf) could effectively reduce the
would imply that the slope is stable and the soil capacity, in it- seismic coefficient of a 20-foot tall wall by a factor of 0.5,
self, would have inherent shear strength to resist the inertial soil thereby achieving the same effects as would occur for a wall
loading leading to the situation of zero additional earth pres- that is able to move.

Figure 7-12. Seismic coefficient charts for c- soils for   40.
76

Mobilization of cohesion could significantly reduce seis- 3. Choose an appropriate sliding surface search scheme.
mic earth pressures to include such reductions in design prac- Circular, linear, multi-linear, or random surfaces can be
tice is not always straight forward due to uncertainties in es- examined by SLIDE and other commercial slope stabil-
tablishing the magnitude of the cohesion for compacted fills ity analysis programs.
where mixed c-φ conditions exist under field conditions. This 4. Apply the earth pressure as a boundary force on the face
is particularly the case for cohesionless fills, where the degree of the retained soil. The location of the force is assumed at
of saturation has a significant effect on the apparent cohesion one-third from the base (1⁄3 H, where H is retained soil
from capillarity. height) for static cases. For seismic cases the location can be
From a design perspective, uncertainties in the amount of reasonably assumed at mid height (0.5 H) of the retained
cohesion or apparent cohesion makes it difficult to incorporate soil. However, different application points between 1⁄3 H
the contributions of cohesion in many situations, particularly and 2⁄3 H from the base can be examined to determine the
in cases where clean backfill materials are being used, regard- maximum seismic earth pressure. The angle of applied
less of the potential benefits of partial saturation. However, force depends on assumed friction angle between wall and
where cohesive soils are being used for backfill or where native soil. A horizontal load simulates a smooth wall, whereas a
soils have a clear cohesive content, then the designer should load inclined at φ degrees indicates that the friction angle
give consideration to incorporating some effects of cohesion in between wall and soil is equal or greater than internal fric-
the determination of the seismic coefficient. tion angle of the soil.
5. Change the magnitude of the applied load until a minimum
7.4 GLE Approach for Determining ratio of C/D of 1.0 is obtained. The C/D ratio is equivalent
Seismic Active Pressures to the factor of safety for the analyses. The force correspon-
To overcome the limitations of the M-O method for cases ding to a C/D ratio of 1.0 is equal to total earth pressure on
involving nonhomogeneous soils and complex backslope the retaining structure.
geometry, conventional limit-equilibrium slope stability com- 6. Verify design assumptions and material properties by
puter programs may be used. The concept has been illustrated, examining the loads on individual slices in the output.
in a paper by Chugh (1995). For the purpose of both evalu-
ation of this approach and application to examples used for The program SLIDE was calibrated against M-O solutions
the recommended methodology (Appendix F), the computer by considering examples shown on Figures 7-14 and 7-15.
program SLIDE (RocScience, 2005), a program widely used The first set of figures shows the application of SLIDE for
by geotechnical consultants, was used. computing active earth pressure on a wall with horizontal
The basic principle in using such programs for earth pres- backfill. The two analyses in Figure 7-14A show the compu-
sure computations is illustrated in Figure 7-13. Steps in the tation of the active earth pressure for a homogeneous backfill
analysis are as follows: and seismic acceleration of 0.2g and 0.4g. The calculated re-
sults are identical to results from the M-O equation. The two
1. Setup the model geometry, ground water profile, and analyses in Figure 7-14B show computation of the active
design soil properties. The internal face of the wall, or the earth pressure for a case with nonhomogenous backfill. Fig-
plane where the earth pressure needs to be calculated, ures 7-15A and 7-15B show the similar analyses for a wall
should be modeled as a free boundary. with sloping backfill.
2. Choose an appropriate slope stability analysis method.
Spencer’s method generally yields good results because it 7.5 Height-Dependent Seismic
satisfies the equilibrium of forces and moments. Design Coefficients
Current AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications use
peak ground acceleration in conjunction with M-O analysis
to compute seismic earth pressures for retaining walls. Ex-
cept for MSE walls where amplification factors as a function
of peak ground acceleration are used, based on studies by
Segrestin and Bastick (1988), the current approach makes no
adjustments in assigned ground acceleration for wall height.
Chapter 6 provides a fundamental approach for making these
adjustments based on scattering analyses for elastic soils. To
confirm that the recommendations in Chapter 6 apply for sit-
Figure 7-13. Adoption of slope uations where there is an impedance contrast between foun-
stability programs to compute seismic dation and fills, and the possible influence of nonlinear soil
earth pressure (Chugh, 1995). behavior, an additional set of analyses was performed. Results
77

Figure 7-14A. SLIDE calibration analyses for horizontal backfill (homogeneous soil
conditions).

of these analyses are used with the results of the analyses in detail in Appendix G. The initial set of SHAKE analyses re-
Chapter 6 to develop recommendations for height-dependent peated many of the parameters originally evaluated by Seg-
seismic design coefficients. restin and Bastick:

• 20-foot wall height.


7.5.1 Evaluation of Impedance Contrasts • Three different shear wave velocities for soil supporting the
and Soil Behavior
wall (820 ft/sec; 1,200 ft/sec; and 3,300 ft/sec). Idriss mod-
To examine the effects of impedance contrasts and nonlin- ulus and damping versus shearing strain curves for rock.
ear soil behavior on height effects, one-dimensional SHAKE91 • Compacted backfill within wall with φ = 30 degrees and
(1992) analyses were undertaken and are documented in maximum shear modulus (Gmax) equal to 70 (σ′m)0.5. The
78

Figure 7-14B. SLIDE calibration analyses for horizontal backfill (nonhomogeneous soil conditions).

Seed and Idriss modulus and damping curves were used to ternal stability evaluations in the AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design
represent shearing strain effects. Specifications. Plots showing these comparisons are provided in
• Nine ground motions consistent with the discussions in Appendix G. These results show amplification at the top of the
Chapter 5, including the two used by Segrestin and Bastick. wall, as well as maximum average acceleration along the wall
height, similar to results from Segrestin and Bastick. However,
These studies were successfully calibrated against studies un- the latter studies were limited to 20-foot high (6 meter) walls.
dertaken by Segrestin and Bastick (1988) for MSE walls, which Additional parametric studies were subsequently con-
forms the basis for MSE wall backfill seismic coefficients and ex- ducted to evaluate the effects of wall heights, impedance
79

Figure 7-15A. SLIDE calibration analyses for sloping backfill (homogeneous soil conditions).

contrasts, and accelerations levels, using the same SHAKE 7.5.2 Results of Impedance Contrast
models: and Nonlinearity Evaluations

• Response evaluated at wall heights of 20, 50, and 100 feet. Results of the studies summarized above and described
• The low-strain shear modulus changed to Gmax = 59 (σ′m)0.5 in Appendix G generally follow trends similar to the wave
to correspond to a relative density of 75 percent, which was scattering studies described in Chapter 6. However, based
judged to be more realistic. on a study of the results and to simplify the results for the
• Nine ground motions used as noted above. development of recommended specifications and commen-
80

Figure 7-15B. SLIDE calibration analyses for sloping backfill (nonhomogeneous soil conditions).

taries for the AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications, Curves in Figure 7-16 from Chapter 6 are for slightly differ-
the use of a simple linear function to describe reductions in ent equivalent β values than shown for the simplified approach.
average height-dependent seismic coefficients, as shown in These values are 1.7, 1.1, and 0.4 for UB, mid, and LB spectral
Figure 7-16, is recommended. Comparisons with the curves response, respectively. The differences in the β values explain
resulting from the height-dependent scattering studies also the difference between the locations of the lines for the curves
are noted in Figure 7-16. from Chapter 6 versus the simplified straight-line functions.
81

Figure 7-16. Simplified height-dependent scaling factor recommended


for design.

Recommendations for seismic coefficients to be used for when accelerations exceed the horizontal limiting equilibrium
earth pressure evaluations based on the simplified straight line yield acceleration) was introduced by Richards and Elms
functions shown can be expressed by the following equations: (1979). Based on this concept (as illustrated in Figure 7-17),
Elms and Martin (1979) suggested that a design acceleration
kav = α kmax (7-1) coefficient of 0.5A in M-O analyses would be adequate for
where limit equilibrium pseudo-static design, provided allowance
kmax = peak seismic coefficient at the ground surface = Fpga be made for a horizontal wall displacement of 10A (in inches).
PGA; and The design acceleration coefficient (A) is the peak ground
acceleration at the base of the sliding wedge behind the wall
α = fill height-dependent reduction factor.
in gravitational units (that is, g). This concept was adopted by
For C, D, and E foundations soils AASHTO in 1992, and is reflected in following paragraph taken
from Article 11.6.5 of the 2007 AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design
α = 1 + 0.01H [( 0.5β ) − 1] (7-2) Specifications.
Where all of the following conditions are met, seismic lateral
where
loads may be reduced as provided in Article C11.6.5, as a result
H = fill height in feet; and of lateral wall movement due to sliding, from values determined
β = FvS1/kmax.
For Site Class A and B foundation conditions (that is, hard
and soft rock conditions) the above values of α should be
increased by 20 percent. For wall heights greater than 100 feet,
α coefficients may be assumed to be the 100-foot value. Note
also for practical purposes, walls less than say 20 feet in
height and on very firm ground conditions (B/C founda-
tions), kav ≈ kmax which has been the traditional assumption
for design.

7.6 Displacement-Based Design


for Gravity, Semi Gravity,
and MSE Walls
The concept of allowing walls to slide during earthquake
loading and displacement-based design (that is, assuming a Figure 7-17. Concept of Newmark sliding block analysis
Newmark sliding block analysis to compute displacements (AASHTO, 2007).
82

using the Mononobe-Okabe method specified in Appendix A11, Newmark sliding block analyses. In effect, this represents
Article A11.1.1.1: an uncoupled analysis of deformations as opposed to a fully
• The wall system and any structures supported by the wall can coupled dynamic analysis of permanent wall deformations.
tolerate lateral movement resulting from sliding of the struc- However, this approach is commonly used for seismic
ture. slope stability analyses, as discussed in Chapter 8.
• The wall base is unrestrained against sliding, other than soil The existing AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications
friction along its base and minimal soil passive resistance.
use an empirical equation based on peak ground acceleration
• If the wall functions as an abutment, the top of the wall must
also be restrained, e.g., the superstructure is supported by slid- to compute wall displacements for a given wall yield acceler-
ing bearings. ation. This equation was derived from studies of a limited
number of earthquake accelerations, and is of the form:
The commentary for this Article notes that,
d = 0.087 (V 2 kmax g )( k y kmax )
−4
In general, typical practice among states located in seismically (7-3)
active areas is to design walls for reduced seismic pressures cor-
responding to 2 to 4 inches of displacement. However, the
where
amount of deformation which is tolerable will depend on the
nature of the wall and what it supports, as well as what is in front ky = yield acceleration;
of the wall. kmax = peak seismic coefficient at the ground surface;
V = maximum ground velocity (inches/sec), which is the
Observations of the performance of conventional cantilever same as PGV discussed in this report; and
gravity retaining walls in past earthquakes, and in particu- d = wall displacement (inches).
lar during the Hyogoken-Nambu (Kobe) earthquake in 1995,
have identified significant tilting or rotation of walls in addition Based on a study of the ground motion database described
to horizontal deformations, reflecting cyclic bearing capacity in Chapter 5, revised displacement functions are recom-
failures of wall foundations during earthquake loading. To mended for determining displacement.
accommodate permanent wall deformations involving mixed For WUS sites and CEUS soil sites (Equation 5-8)
sliding and rotational modes of failure using Newmark block
failure assumptions, it is necessary to formulate more complex log ( d ) = −1.51 − 0.74 log ( k y kmax ) + 3.27 log (1 − k y kmax )
coupled equations of motions.
Coupled equations of motion may be required for evaluat- − 0.80 log ( kmax ) + 1.59 log ( PGV )
ing existing retaining walls. However, from the standpoint of
performance criteria for the seismic design of new conven- For CEUS rock sites (Equation 5-6)
tional retaining walls, the preferred design approach is to limit
log ( d ) = −1.31 − 0.93 log ( k y kmax ) + 4.52 log (1 − k y kmax )
tilting or a rotational failure mode, to the extent possible, by
ensuring adequate ratios of capacity to earthquake demand − 0.46 log ( kmax ) + 1.12 log ( PGV )
(that is, high C/D ratios) for foundation bearing capacity fail-
ures and to place the design focus on performance criteria where
that ensure acceptable sliding displacements (that is lower kmax = peak seismic coefficient at the ground surface; and
C/D ratios relative to bearing or overturning). For weaker PGV = peak ground velocity obtained from the design
foundation materials, this rotational failure requirement may spectral acceleration at 1 second and adjusted
result in the use pile or pier foundations, where lateral seis- for local site class (that is, Fv S1) as described in
mic loads would be larger than those for a sliding wall. Chapter 5.
Much of the recent literature on conventional retaining wall
The above displacement equations represent mean values
seismic analysis, including the European codes of practice,
and can be multiplied by 2 to obtain an 84 percent confidence
focus on the use of Newmark sliding block analysis methods.
level. A comparison with the present AASHTO equation is
For short walls (less than 20-feet high), the concept of a back-
shown in Figure 7-18.
fill active failure zone deforming as a rigid block is reasonable,
as discussed in the previous paragraph. However, for higher
7.7 Conventional Gravity
walls, the dynamic response of the soil in the failure zone leads
and Semi-Gravity Walls—
to non-uniform accelerations with height and negates the
Recommended Design Method
rigid-block assumption. for External Stability
For wall heights greater than 20 feet, the use of height-
dependent seismic coefficients is recommended to deter- Based on material presented in the previous paragraphs, the
mine maximum average seismic coefficients for active fail- recommended design methodology for conventional gravity
ure zones, and may be used to determine kmax for use in and semi-gravity walls is summarized by the following steps:
83

Figure 7-18. Comparison between all except CEUS-Rock and AASHTO


correlations for PGV  30  kmax.

1. Establish an initial wall design using the AASHTO LRFD 11. Determine horizontal driving and resisting forces as a
Bridge Design Specifications for static loading, using appro- function of k (using spreadsheet calculations) and plot
priate load and resistance factors. This establishes wall as a function of k as shown in Figure 7-20b. The values
dimensions and weights. of ky correspond to the point where the two forces are
2. Estimate the site peak ground acceleration coefficient equal, that is, the capacity to demand ratio against slid-
(kmax) and spectral acceleration at 1 second (S1) from the ing equals 1.0.
1,000-year seismic hazards maps adopted by AASHTO 12. Determine the wall sliding displacement (d) based on the
(including appropriate site soil modification factors). relationship between d, ky /kmax, kmax, and PGV described
3. Determine the corresponding PGV from the correlation in Section 7.6.
equation between S1 and PGV (Equation 5-11, Chapter 5). 13. Check bearing pressures and overturning criteria to con-
4. Modify kmax to account for wall height effects as described firm that the seismic loads meet performance criteria
in Figure 7-16 of Section 7.5. for seismic loading (possibly maximum vertical bear-
5. Evaluate the potential use of the M-O equation to deter- ing pressure less than ultimate and overturning factor
mine PAE (Figure 7-10) as discussed in Section 7.2, taking of safety greater than 1.0).
into account cut slope properties and geometry and the 14. If step 13 criteria are not met, adjust footing dimensions
value of kmax from step 3. and repeat steps 6-12 as needed.
6. If PAE cannot be determined using the M-O equation, use 15. If step 13 criteria are satisfied, assess acceptability of slid-
a limit-equilibrium slope stability analysis (as described ing displacement (d).
in Section 7.4) to establish PAE.
7. Check that wall bearing pressures and overturning criteria
for the maximum seismic load demand required to meet
performance criteria. If criteria are met, check for sliding
potential. If all criteria are met, the static design is satisfac-
tory. If not, go to Step 8.
8. Determine the wall yield seismic coefficient (ky) where
wall sliding is initiated.
9. With reference to Figure 7-19, as both the driving forces
[PAE(k), kWs, kWw] and resisting forces [Sr(k) and PPE(k)]
are a function of the seismic coefficient, the determination
of ky for limiting equilibrium (capacity to demand = factor
of safety = 1.0) requires an interactive procedure, using the
following steps:
10. Determine values of PAE as a function of the seismic co-
efficient k (<kmax) as shown in Figure 7-20a. Figure 7-19. Seismic force diagram on retaining wall.
84

structures have experienced small permanent deformations


such as bulging of the face and cracking behind the structure,
but no collapse has occurred. A summary of seismic field per-
formance is shown in Table 7-1. The inherent ductility and
flexibility of such structures combined with the conservatism
of static design procedures is often cited as a reason for the sat-
isfactory performance. Nevertheless, as Bathurst et al. (2002)
note, seismic design tools are needed to optimize the design
Figure 7-20. Design procedure steps. of these structures in seismic environments.
In the following sections, the current AASHTO design
methods for external and internal stability are described, and
From design examples and recognizing that static designs recommendations for modifications, including a brief com-
have inherently high factors of safety, a recommendation to mentary of outstanding design issues, are made.
eliminate step 7 and replace it by a simple clause to reduce the
seismic coefficient from step 6 by a factor of 50 percent (as in
the existing AASHTO Specifications) would seem realistic. 7.8.2 MSE Walls—Design Method
This is particularly the case since the new displacement func- for External Stability
tion gives values significantly less than the present AASHTO
The current AASHTO design method for seismic external
Specifications.
stability is described in Article 11.10.7.1 in Section 11 of the
Specifications, and is illustrated in Figure 7-21. The method
7.8 MSE Walls—Recommended
evaluates sliding stability of the MSE wall under combined
Design Methods
static and earthquake loads. For wall inertial load and M-O
The current AASHTO Specifications for MSE walls largely active earth pressure evaluations, the AASHTO method adopts
are based on pseudo-static stability methods utilizing the M-O the Segrestin and Bastick (1988) recommendations, where the
seismic active earth pressure equation. In this approach dy- maximum acceleration is given by:
namic earth pressure components are added to static compo-
nents to evaluate external sliding stability or to determine re- Am = (1.45 − A ) A (7-4)
inforced length to prevent pull-out failure in the case of internal
stability. Accelerations used for analyses and the concepts used where A is peak ground acceleration coefficient.
for tensile stress distribution in reinforcing strips largely have
However, as discussed in Appendix H, the above equation
been influenced by numerical analyses conducted by Segrestin
is conservative for most site conditions, and the wall height-
and Bastick (1988), as described in Appendix H. (A copy of the
dependent average seismic coefficient discussed in Figure 7-16
Segrestin and Bastick paper was included in earlier drafts of the
in Section 7.5 is recommended for both gravity and MSE wall
NCHRP 12-70 Project report. However, copyright restrictions
precluded including a copy of the paper in this Final Report.) design.
A reduced base width of 0.5H is used to compute the mass
of the MSE retaining wall used to determine the wall inertial
7.8.1 Current Design Methodology load PIR in the AASHTO method (Equation 11.10.7.1-3). The
In the past 15 years since the adoption of the AASHTO de- apparent rationale for this relates to a potential phase differ-
sign approach, numerous publications on seismic design ence between the M-O active pressure acting behind the wall
methodologies for MSE walls have appeared in the literature. and the wall inertial load. Segrestin and Bastick (1988) recom-
Publications have described pseudo-static, limit equilibrium mend 60 percent of the wall mass compatible with AASHTO,
methods, numerical methods using dynamic analyses, and whereas Japanese practice is to use 100 percent of the mass.
model test results using centrifuge and shaking table tests. A A study of centrifuge test data shows no evidence of a phase
comprehensive summary of much of this literature was pub- difference. To be consistent with previous discussion on non-
lished by Bathurst et al. (2002). It is clear from review of this gravity cantilever walls, height effects, and limit equilibrium
literature that consensus on a new robust design approach suit- methods of analysis, the total wall mass should be used to
able for a revised design specification has yet to surface due to compute the inertial load.
the complexity of the problems and ongoing research needs. The AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications for MSE
Over the past several years, observations of geosynthetic walls separate out the seismic dynamic component of the force
slopes and walls during earthquakes have indicated that these behind the wall instead of using a total active force PAE as
types of structures perform well during seismic events. The discussed in Section 7.4. Assuming a load factor of 1.0, the
85

Table 7-1. Summary of seismic field performance of reinforced soil structures


(Nova-Roessig, 1999).

1
Reinforced Earth Co., 1990, 1991, 1994; 2 Collin et al., 1992; 3 Eliahu and Watt, 1991; 4 Stewart et al., 1994; 5 Sandri, 1994; 6 Sitar, 1995;
7
Tatsuoka et al., 1996; 8 Ling et al., 1997; 9 Ling et al., 1989; 10 Ling et al., 2001

following equation (Equation 11.10.7.1-2) is used to define is assumed that use was made of the approximation for KAE
the seismic dynamic component of the active force: suggested by Seed and Whitman (1970), namely:

PAE = 0.375 Am γ s H 2 (7-5) K AE = K A + 0.75kh (7-6)

where where
γs = soil unit weight; and KA = static active pressure coefficient; and
H = wall height. KAE = total earthquake coefficient.
The use of the symbol PAE is confusing, as the seismic dy- Hence using the AASHTO terminology,
namic increment is usually defined as ΔPAE. Whereas it is ΔPAE = (0.75 Am) × 0.5 γsH2
not immediately evident how this equation was derived, it = 0.375Am γs H2
86

Figure 7-21. Seismic external stability of a MSE wall (AASHTO, 2007).

Note that the Seed and Whitman (1970) simplified ap- ommended approach for MSE walls is a design procedure
proach was developed for use in level-ground conditions. similar to that for gravity and semi-gravity walls (Section 7.6),
If the Seed and Whitman simplification was, in fact, used to where a total active earthquake force is used for sliding sta-
develop Equation (7-6), then it is fundamentally appropri- bility evaluations.
ate only for level ground conditions and may underesti- It also is noted that the AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Spec-
mate seismic earth pressures where a slope occurs above the ifications suggest conducting a detailed lateral deformation
retaining wall. analysis using the Newmark method or numerical modeling
For external stability, only 50 percent of the latter force if the ground acceleration exceeds 0.29g. However, as dis-
increment is added to the static active force, again reflecting cussed for gravity and semi-gravity walls, due to the inherently
either a phase difference with inertial wall loads or reflect- high factors of safety used for static load design, in most cases
ing a 50 percent reduction by allowing deformation potential yield seismic coefficients are likely to be high enough to min-
as suggested for cantilever walls. In lieu of the above, the rec- imize potential sliding block displacements.
87

7.8.3 MSE Walls—Design Method wall-height dependent average seismic coefficient concept
for Internal Stability discussed in Section 7.5 is recommended.
In the AASHTO method, the total inertial force is distributed
The current AASHTO design method for seismic internal to the reinforcements in proportion to their effective resistant
stability is described in Article 11.10.7.2 of Section 11 of the lengths Lei as shown on Figure 7-22. This approach follows the
AASHTO Specifications, and is illustrated in Figure 7-22. finite element modeling conducted by Segrestin and Bastick
The method assumes that the internal inertial forces gener- (1988), and leads to higher tensile forces in lower reinforce-
ating additional tensile loads in reinforcements act on an ment layers. This is the opposite trend to incremental seismic
active pressure zone assumed to be the same for the static loading used by AASHTO for external stability evaluations
loading case. A bilinear zone is defined for inextensible re- based on the M-O equation. In the case of internal stability
inforcements such as metallic strips and a linear zone for evaluation, Vrymoed (1989) used a tributary area approach
extensible strips. Whereas it could reasonably be anticipated that assumes the inertial load carried by each reinforcement
that these active zones would extend outwards for seismic layer increases linearly with height above the toe of the wall
cases, as for M-O analyses, numerical and centrifuge mod- for equally spaced reinforcement layers. A similar approach
els indicate that the reinforcement restricts such outward was used by Ling et al. (1997) in limit equilibrium analyses.
movements, and only relatively small changes in location This concept would suggest that longer reinforcement lengths
are seen. could be needed at the top of walls with increasing accelera-
The internal inertial force in the AASHTO method is cal- tion levels, and the AASHTO approach could be unconserv-
culated using the acceleration Am defined in Section 7.8.2 for ative. In view of this uncertainty in distribution that has been
the external stability case. As previously discussed, the ac- widely discussed in the literature, a suggested compromise is
celeration equation used for external stability evaluations is to distribute the inertial force uniformly within the reinforce-
too conservative for most site conditions, and the use of the ment. In essence, this represents an average of the tensile load

Figure 7-22. Seismic internal stability of a MSE wall (AASHTO, 2007).


88

distribution from the existing AASHTO approach with that Methods range from more complex FLAC computer analy-
determined using the tributary area of strips in the inertial ses to simplified methods based on limit equilibrium and
active zone. Newmark sliding block analyses. Bathurst et al. (2002) sum-
A computer program MSEW (ADAMA, 2005) has been marizes a number of these methods. Approaches based on
developed and is commercially available to design MSE walls limit equilibrium and Newmark sliding block methods are
using the current AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifica- also described, for example, by Ling et al. (1997) and Paulsen
tions. An application of the program to design a representa- and Kramer (2004). Comparisons are made in the latter two
tive wall is provided in Appendix I, where the older allowable papers with centrifuge and shaking table test results, with
stress design (ASD) specifications are compared to the LRFD some degree of success. However, the explicit application
specifications. A modest seismic coefficient of 0.1 is used for of these performance-based methods in the AASHTO LRFD
design. Slightly longer reinforcing strips are needed for the Bridge Design Specifications at the present time is premature.
LRFD design, and seismic loading does not impact the de-
sign. The suggested recommendations to modify the seismic
7.9 Other Wall Types
design procedure (acceleration coefficients and tensile load
distribution) cannot be directly incorporated in the program, Three other wall types were considered during this Project:
but changes to the source code could be made with little effort, (1) nongravity cantilever walls, (2) anchored walls, and (3) soil
and the design impact of the changes examined by studying nail walls. The treatment of these walls has been less detailed
several examples. than described above for semi-gravity and MSE walls. Part
The work plan in Chapter 4 identified a methodology in- of this reduced effort is related to the common characteris-
volving the application of limit equilibrium programs for as- tics of the nongravity cantilever, anchored, and soil nail walls
sessing internal stability of MSE walls. In particular the com- to the walls that were evaluated. The following subsections
puter programs, SLIDE and ReSSA (Version 2), were going provide a summary of the recommended approach for these
to be used to conduct detailed studies. After performing a wall types.
limited evaluation of both programs, the following concerns
were noted relative to their application to AASHTO LRFD
7.9.1 Nongravity Cantilever Walls
Bridge Design Specifications:
These walls include sheet pile walls, soldier pile and lagging
1. Since static and seismic design methodologies should desir- walls (without anchors), and secant/tangent pile walls. Each of
ably be somewhat consistent, the adoption of such programs these walls is similar in the sense that they derive their resist-
for seismic design means that a similar approach should ance to load from the structural capacity of the wall located
be used for static design. This would require a major revi- below the ground surface. The heights of these walls typically
sion to the AASHTO static LRFD design methodology. range from a few feet to as high as 20 to 30 feet. Beyond this
2. Whereas the use of ReSSA (Version 2) for static analyses height, it is usually necessary to use anchors to supplement
has been compared successfully to FLAC analyses by the stiffness capacity of the wall system. The depth of the wall
Leshchinsky and Han (2004), similar comparisons have below the excavation depth is usually 1.5 to 2 times the height
not been identified for seismic loading problems. Such of the exposed wall face.
comparisons would provide more confidence in the use of
a limit equilibrium program to simulate the mechanics of
7.9.1.1 Seismic Design Considerations
loading. In particular the main concern is the distribution
of seismic lateral forces to reinforcing strips from the limit The conventional approach for the seismic design of these
equilibrium analyses. It would be of value if in future cen- walls is to use the M-O equations. Article C11.8.6 of the
trifuge tests, for example, strips could be instrumented to AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications indicates that
measure loads during seismic loading. a seismic coefficient of kh = 0.5A is to be used and that wall
inertial forces can be ignored. In this context A is the peak
In view of the these concerns, adoption of limit equilibrium ground acceleration for the site based on the AASHTO haz-
analyses is not currently recommended for MSE internal sta- ard map and the site classification. The use of the 0.5 factor
bility analysis, although future research on their potential implies that the wall is able to move, although this is not ex-
application is warranted. plicitly stated. As discussed in previous sections, the original
Deformation design approaches are not identified for inter- development of the 0.5 factor assumed that the wall could
nal stability in the AASHTO Specifications. Such methods are move 10A (in inches), which could be several inches or more
complex as they involve sliding yield of reinforcing strips or and which would often be an unacceptable condition for this
possible stretch in the case of geosynthetic grids or geotextiles. class of walls.
89

Most nongravity cantilever walls are flexible and there- One important difference for this class of walls relative to
fore the customary approach to static design is to assume that gravity walls and MSE walls is that the capacity of the wall
active earth pressure conditions develop. The amount of depends on the passive pressure at the face of the structural
movement also will be sufficient to justify use of the M-O unit: either the sheet pile or the soldier pile. For static loading,
equation for estimating seismic active earth pressures. How- the passive pressure is usually estimated from charts as shown
ever, rather than the 0.5 factor currently given in the AASHTO in Article 3.11.5.4 of the AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Speci-
Specifications, it is suggested that the wave scattering fac- fications. For soldier piles the effective width of the structural
tors described in Section 7.5 of this chapter be used. For element below the base of the wall is assumed to be from 1 to
typical nongravity cantilever walls, which have a height of 3 pile diameters to account for the wedge-shape form of soil
25 feet or less, this means that the factor will range from 0.8 reaction. The upper several feet of soil are also typically ne-
to 0.9 rather than 0.5. glected for static passive earth pressure computation. This is
The decision whether to use the 0.5 factor currently given done to account for future temporary excavations that could
in AASHTO will depend on the amount of permanent move- occur. In view of the low likelihood of the excavation occur-
ment of the nongravity cantilever wall that is acceptable dur- ring at the time of the design earthquake, this approach can
ing the design seismic event. If the structural designer reviews be neglected for seismic load cases.
the design and agrees that average permanent wall movements Under seismic loading a reduction in the seismic passive
of 1 to 2 inches at the excavation level are acceptable, the seis- pressure occurs. This reduction can be estimated using M-O
mic coefficient used for design (after reducing for scattering equation for passive pressures (Equation A11.1.1.1-4). How-
effects) can be further reduced by a factor of up to 0.5. ever, as noted earlier in this chapter, the M-O equation for
The acceptability of the 0.5 factor is based on several passive earth pressures is based on a granular soil and Coulomb
considerations: failure theory. Various studies have shown that Coulomb
theory can be unconservative in certain situations. The M-O
• Allowable stresses within the wall are not exceeded during equation also does not include the contributions of any cohe-
the earthquake and after the earthquake, since there is sive content to the soil. Similar to the previous discussion for
likely to be at least 1 to 2 inches of permanent wall move- active pressures, the effects of cohesion on the passive earth
ment at the excavation level. pressure have been found to be significant.
• Weather conditions at the site will allow several inches of As an alternative to the M-O passive pressure equation, the
outward movement to develop. If pavements, sidewalks, seismic passive earth pressure can be estimated using the charts
or protective barriers prevent outward movement of 1 to in Figures 7-23 through 25. These charts show the relationship
2 inches, then the reduction of 0.5 would not seem to be between KPE and kh as a function of the normalized soil cohe-
appropriate. sion. The charts were developed using log spiral procedures,
• Aesthetics of the wall after permanent movement are ac- following the methodology published by Shamsabadi et al.
ceptable. Often there will be some rotation with the move- (2007). The interface friction for these charts is 0.67 φ. Proce-
ment at the excavation line, resulting in a wall that is lean- dures described by Shamsabadi et al. can be used to estimate
ing outward. This wall may be structurally acceptable but the seismic passive coefficient for other interface conditions.
it may result in questions whether the fill is falling over. Significant deformation is required to mobilize the pas-
• Movement at the excavation level or at the top of the wall, sive pressure, and therefore, for static design, the resulting
which will likely be at least 1 to 2 several inches because of passive pressure coefficient is often reduced by some amount
rotation, do not damage utilities or other infrastructure to control deformations. For static loading the reduction is
located above or below the wall. usually 1.5 to 2. In the absence of specific studies showing
otherwise, this same reduction may be appropriate for the
Another important consideration is the characteristics of seismic loading case in a limit equilibrium analysis, to limit
the soil being supported. Nongravity cantilever walls are the deformation of the nongravity cantilever. This approach
normally constructed using a top-down method, where the would be taken if using the computer programs SPW 911
structural support system is installed (that is, sheet pile or or SWALSHT.
soldier pile) and then the earth is excavated from in front of Alternately, a numerical approach, such as followed within
the structural members. In many cases the natural soil behind the computer program PY WALL (Ensoft, 2005) can explicitly
the wall will have some cohesive content. As discussed in account for the displacement through the use of p-y springs.
Section 7.3, the active earth pressure can be significantly re- Programs such as L-PILE and COM624 also can be used to
duced if the soil has a cohesive component. If site explorations make these analyses, although appropriate consideration needs
can confirm that this cohesive component exists, then it makes to be given to the development of p-y curves. These programs
sense that the design method accounts for this effect. are not specifically set up for evaluating seismic response
90

Figure 7-23. Seismic passive earth pressure coefficient Figure 7-24. Seismic passive earth pressure coefficient
based on log spiral procedure (c  soil cohesion, based on log spiral procedure (cont.) (c  soil cohesion,
  soil total unit weight, and H is height).   soil total unit weight, and H is height).

but can be used to evaluate seismic performance by intro-


ducing appropriate soil pressures and reactions consistent
with those expected to occur during a seismic event. Appen-
dix K describes a study that was part of the NCHRP 12-70
Project that demonstrates the use of the general beam-column
approach to evaluate nongravity cantilever retaining walls
under seismic loading. Included within the Appendix K dis-
cussion are recommendations on p- and y-multipliers to de-
velop p-y curves for continuous (sheet pile) retaining walls.

7.9.1.2 Seismic Design Methodology


The following approach is suggested for design of non-
gravity cantilever walls:

1. Perform static design following the AASHTO LRFD Bridge


Design Specifications.
2. Establish the site peak ground acceleration coefficient (kmax)
and spectral acceleration S1 at 1 second from the 1,000-year
maps adopted by AASHTO (including appropriate site
soil modification factors).
3. Determine the corresponding PGV from correlation equa-
tions between S1 and PGV (provided in Chapter 5). Figure 7-25. Seismic passive earth pressure coefficient
4. Modify kmax to account for wall-height effects as de- based on log spiral procedure (cont.) (c  soil cohesion,
scribed in Section 7.6. Include cohesion component as   soil total unit weight, and H is height).
91

appropriate. Apply a 0.5 factor to the resulting seismic co- cific guidance on the minimum length of the anchors in
efficient if 1 to 2 inches of average permanent movement can Figure 11.9.1-1.
be accepted and conditions are such that they will develop.
Otherwise use the kmax without further reduction. One of the key factors for the anchored wall is that each
5. Compute wall pressures using M-O equation for active anchor is load tested during the construction process. The
pressure, the charts in Figures 7-11 and 7-12, or the gen- load test is used to confirm that the anchor will meet long-
eralized limit equilibrium method. Estimate earth pres- term load requirements. The testing typically includes ap-
sure for passive loading using charts in Figure 7-25 or plying from 1.5 to 2 times the design (working) load and
the methodology published by Shamsabadi et al. (2007). monitoring creep of the anchor. Well-defined criteria exist
Do not use the M-O equation for passive pressure. for determining the acceptability of the anchor during proof
6. Evaluate structural requirements using a suitable software or performance testing.
package or through use of hand methods (for example,
free earth support). Confirm that displacements are suffi-
7.9.2.1 Seismic Design Considerations
cient to develop an active pressure state.
7. Check global stability under seismic loading using a limit The AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications provide
equilibrium program such as SLIDE with the seismic coef- limited guidance for the seismic design of anchored walls.
ficient modified for height effects. Assume that the critical Article 11.9.6 indicates that, “the provisions in Article 11.8.6
surface passes beneath the structural element. If the capac- shall apply.” The referenced article deals with nongravity
ity to demand ratio (that is, factor of safety) is less than 1.0, cantilever walls, and basically states that the M-O equations
estimate displacements. should be used with the seismic coefficient kh = 0.5A.
Various other methods also have been recommended for
The generalized limit equilibrium approach can be used the seismic design of anchored walls:
where soil conditions, seismic coefficient, or geometry warrant.
In this analysis the contributions from the structural elements • The FHWA report Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering
need to be included in the evaluation of stability. Programs (FHWA, 1998a) presents an approach for walls anchored
such as SLIDE allow incorporation of the structural element with a single deadman. This method suggests using the
through the use of an equivalent reaction, where the reaction M-O equations to estimate the seismic active and passive
of individual members is “smeared” to obtain an equivalent pressures. The design method recommends that the anchors
two-dimensional representation. be located behind the potential active failure surface. This
failure surface is flatter than that used for the static stabil-
ity analysis.
7.9.2 Anchored Walls
• A more recent FHWA document Ground Anchors and
The next class of walls is essentially the same as nongravity Anchored Systems (FHWA, 1999) provides discussions on
cantilever walls; however, anchors are used to provide addi- the internal stability using pseudo-static theory and external
tional support to the walls. Typically the anchors are installed stability. Again the approach is to use the M-O equations.
when the wall height exceeds 20 feet, or sometimes even at less The document notes that,
height if a steep backslope occurs above the wall or the wall use of a seismic coefficient from between one-half and two-
supports heavy loads from a structure. The height of anchored thirds of the peak horizontal ground acceleration divided by
walls can exceed 100 feet. gravity would appear to provide a wall design that will limit
The anchored wall can be used in either cut or fill conditions. deformations in the design earthquake to small values
acceptable for highway facilities.
• For fill conditions the reaction is usually provided by a The seismic active earth pressure is assumed to be uni-
deadman anchor. This wall type is generally limited to use formly distributed over the height of the wall.
at port facilities, where a single deadman anchor is used to – For the grout tendon bond, considered a brittle element
augment the capacity of the wall. While deadman can be of the system, the report suggests using the site-adjusted
used for highway construction, particularly for retrofits, PGA with no reductions in the M-O equations to obtain
other wall types, such as MSE or semi-gravity cantilever a peak force and that a factor of safety against brittle fail-
walls, are usually more cost-effective for new walls. ure be 1.1 or greater.
• For cut slope locations, the wall uses one or more grouted – For ductile elements (for example, tendons, sheet piles,
anchors to develop additional capacity. Anchors are usu- and soldier piles) the seismic coefficient in the M-O
ally installed at approximately 10-foot vertical spacing; method is 0.5 times the site-adjusted PGA. The Newmark
horizontal spacing of the soldier piles is often 8 to 10 feet. method is used as the basis of this recommendation. For
AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications provide spe- this condition the factor of safety should be 1.1 or greater.
92

A global check on stability also is recommended. Simi- ficient seems justified. If this reduction is, however, accepted,
lar to the approach in Geotechnical Earthquake Engi- then careful consideration needs to be given to the stiffness of
neering, the anchor zone should be outside the flattened the wall-anchor system to confirm that the elongation of the
failure surface. anchor strand or bar and the stiffness of the wall are such that
• Another FHWA document Design Manual for Permanent several inches of movement can occur.
Ground Anchor Walls (FHWA, 1998b) has a slight varia- While the methodologies for the seismic design of anchored
tion on the above methods. First, the method suggests using walls seem to lack guidance on a number of topics, the FHWA
1.5 times the site-adjusted PGA, but notes that Caltrans has documents note that anchored walls have performed well dur-
been successful using a 25 percent increase over the normal ing past seismic events. It was noted that of 10 walls inspected
apparent earth pressures. The justification for the lower after the 1987 Whittier earthquake and the 1994 Northridge
loads is related to the test loads that are applied (133 per- earthquake, wall performance was good even though only one
cent times Load Group VII); these loads are higher than in 10 walls inspected was designed for earthquake loading.
would be obtained using the AASHTO approach. Since the
seismic loads are applied for a short period of time, the
7.9.2.2 Seismic Design Methodology
document suggests not increasing the soldier piles or wall
facing for the seismic forces. For external stability the re- The following approach is suggested for design of anchored
port identifies a deformation-based approach used at the retaining walls:
time by Caltrans. This method is based on the Makdisi and
Seed (1978) charts for computing deformations. 1. Perform static design following the AASHTO LRFD Bridge
• Whitman (1990) in a paper titled, “Seismic Design and Design Specifications.
Behavior of Retaining Walls,” presents a methodology 2. Establish the site peak ground acceleration coefficient (kmax)
that accounts for the increased support from the anchor and spectral acceleration S1 at 1 second from the 1,000-year
as the wall deforms. In the Whitman approach, a limit equi- AASHTO maps, including appropriate site soil modifica-
librium analysis is conducted with a program such as SLIDE. tion factors.
The anchor lock-off load is modeled as an external force 3. Determine the corresponding PGV from correlation equa-
oriented along the axis of the anchor (that is, typically tions between S1 and PGV (provided in Chapter 5).
10 to 20 degrees). The yield acceleration is determined, and 4. Modify kmax to account for wall-height effects as described
then the deformation is estimated using a Newmark chart. in Section 7.6. Do not use 1.5 factor given in the current
This deformation results in elongation of the anchor tendon AASHTO Specifications, unless the wall cannot be allowed
or bar, which results in an increased reaction on the wall to deflect.
(that is, Δ = PL/AE). Analyses are repeated until there is 5. Compute wall pressures using the M-O equation for active
compatibility between the deformations and the anchor pressure, the charts in Figures 7-11 and 7-12, or the gener-
reaction. The final force is then checked against capacity of alized limit equilibrium method. Apply a factor of 0.5 if
the tendon and grouted anchor. 1 to 2 inches of average permanent movement are accept-
able and the stiffness of the wall and anchor system (that is,
With one exception, the documents summarized here do Δ = PL/AE) will allow this movement. If 1 to 2 inches are
not suggest amplification within the zone between the retain- not tolerable or cannot develop, then use the full seismic
ing wall and the anchors. One reference was made to the use coefficient. Estimate earth pressure for passive loading
of an amplification factor identical to that used for the seis- using Figures 7-23 to 7-25 or the equations developed by
mic design of MSE walls [that is, Am = (1.45 − A)A]. No basis Shamsabadi et al. (2007).
for this increase was provided. Most references do suggest 6. Use the same pressure distribution used for the static pres-
that the location of the anchors be moved back from the wall sure distribution. For the resulting load diagram, check
to account for the flattening of the active zone during seismic loads on tendons and grouted anchors to confirm that the
loading. The potential that the pressure distribution behind seismic loads do not exceed the loads applied during per-
the anchored walls changes during seismic loading is not cur- formance or proof testing of each anchor. Confirm that
rently addressed. the grouted anchors are located outside the seismic active
The most significant uncertainty appears to be whether pressure failure wedge.
to use the peak seismic coefficient, or a value that is higher 7. Check global stability under seismic loading using a limit
or lower than the peak. Arguments can be made for higher equilibrium program such as SLIDE with the seismic coef-
values based on amplification effects. However, if several ficient modified for height effects. Assume that the critical
inches of movement occur as demonstrated by the example surface passes beneath the structural element. If the capac-
problem in Appendix J, a reduction in the peak seismic coef- ity to demand ratio is less than 1.0, estimate displacements.
93

For cases where M-O equations are not appropriate, such the FHWA guidance document to use the same amplifi-
as for some combinations of a steep back slope and high site- cation factor used for MSE walls, that is, Am = (1.45 − A)A.
adjusted PGA or if the soil behind the wall simply cannot be The basis of using this equation is not given, other than the
represented by a homogeneous material, then the generalized FHWA report indicates that performance of the soil nail
limit equilibrium methodology should be used to estimate wall is believed to be similar to an MSE wall.
the seismic active earth pressure. This pressure can be either • The seismic coefficient for design ranges from 0.5 Am to
distributed consistent with a static pressure distribution and 0.67 Am. This reduction is based on tolerable slip of 1 to
the wall checked for acceptability, or the deformation approach 8 inches with most slip of 2 to 4 inches. The possibility of
recommended by Whitman (1990) can be used to evaluate the performing Newmark deformational analysis is noted for
forces in the vertical structural members, anchor tendons, and certain soil conditions and high ground accelerations.
grouted zone. • The M-O equation is used to estimate the seismic active
pressure acting on the wall. Reference is made to the angle
of the failure plane for seismic loading being different than
7.9.3 Soil Nail Walls
static loading.
These walls are typically used where an existing slope must • Mention is made of the limitations of the M-O procedure
be cut to accommodate a roadway widening. The slope is re- for certain combinations of variables, in particular when
inforced to create a gravity wall. These walls are constructed the backslope is steeper than 22 degrees and does not cap-
from the top down. Each lift of excavation is typically 5 feet ture many of the complexities of the system.
in thickness. Nails are installed within each lift. The spacing • A detailed design example based on the recommended
of the nails is usually about 4 to 5 feet center-to-center in both approach is presented.
the vertical and horizontal direction. The nail used to reinforce
the slope is high strength, threaded steel bar (60 to 75 ksi). The earlier FHWA report Geotechnical Earthquake Engi-
Each bar is grouted in a hole drilled into the soil. The length neering (FHWA, 1998a) also provides some discussion on the
of the bar will usually range from 0.7 to 1.0 times the final wall design of soil nail walls. It mentions use of (1) the amplifi-
height. Most soil nail walls currently are designed using either cation factor, Am = (1.45 − A)A and (2) for external stability
of two computer programs, SNAIL, developed and made avail- using 0.5 times the site-adjusted PGA, as long as the wall can
able by Caltrans, and GOLDNAIL, developed and distributed tolerate 10 A (inches displacement) where A is the peak ground
by Golder and Associates. These programs establish global and acceleration. This document also references using a seismic
internal stability. design coefficient of 0.5A to check seismic bearing capacity
stability. Limitations and assumptions for this approach are
discussed in Appendix G.
7.9.3.1 Seismic Design Considerations
Procedures used to evaluate the external or global stability
The seismic design of soil nail walls normally involves deter- of the soil nail wall during seismic loading will be the same
mining the appropriate seismic coefficient and then using one as those described previously for evaluating the seismic per-
of the two computer programs to check the seismic loading formance of semi-gravity walls and MSE walls. The uncer-
case. The AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications currently tainty with this wall type deals with the internal stability. The
does not have any provisions for the design of soil nail walls. computer programs currently used in practice, SNAIL and
However, FHWA has a guidance document titled Soil Nail GOLDNAIL, use pseudo-static, limit equilibrium methods
Walls (FHWA, 2003) used for soil nail wall design. This doc- to determine stresses in the nail. Checks can be performed to
ument has a section on the seismic design of these walls. determine if pullout of the nail, tensile failure, or punching
Key points from the seismic discussions are summarized failure at the wall face occur. For the seismic loading case, the
below: increased inertial forces are accounted for in the analysis.
Similar to the internal stability of MSE walls, the mechanisms
• Soil nail walls have performed very well during past earth- involved in transferring stresses from the soil to the nails and
quakes (for example, 1989 Loma Prieta, 1995 Kobe, and vice versa are complex and not easily represented in a pseudo-
2001 Nisqually earthquakes). Ground accelerations during static, limit equilibrium model.
these earthquakes were as high as 0.7g. The good perfor- In principle it would seem that some significant differences
mance is attributed to the intrinsic flexibility. These obser- might occur between the seismic response of the soil nail wall
vations also have been made for centrifuge tests on model versus the MSE wall. The primary difference is that MSE walls
nail walls. are constructed from engineered fill whose properties are well
• Both horizontal and vertical seismic coefficient can be defined, whereas nail walls are constructed in natural soils
used in software such as SNAIL. A suggestion is made in characterized by variable properties. Part of this difference
94

also relates to the angle of the nail. Most nails are angled at Results of the work completed for retaining walls includes
10 to 20 degrees to the horizontal in contrast to the horizon- charts showing the effects of cohesion within the soil on the
tal orientation of the reinforcement within the MSE wall. This seismic earth pressure coefficients that were developed. These
would likely stiffen the soil nail wall relative to the MSE wall, effects can result in a 50 percent reduction in the seismic active
all other conditions being equal. From a design standpoint, it earth pressure; however, it may be difficult in some cases to
also is not clear if seismic forces are adequately modeled by confidently rely on this benefit. In view of current uncertain-
the pseudo-static approach currently taken. These issues need ties, the designer needs to consider the implications of over-
to be further evaluated during independent research efforts. estimating the effects of cohesion on the seismic active and
Many nail walls will be located in areas where there is a co- passive earth pressures.
hesive content to the soil into which the nails are installed. Two wall types were considered in detail during this study:
For these sites the effects of cohesion on the determination of (1) semi-gravity walls and (2) MSE walls.
seismic earth pressure coefficients, as discussed in Section 7.3,
should be considered. • The proposed approach for gravity walls uses either the
M-O seismic active earth pressure equation, the charts in
Figures 7-11 and 7-12, or the generalized limit equilibrium
7.9.3.2 Seismic Design Methodology
method to determine seismic active forces. These forces are
Based on material presented in the previous paragraphs, used to conduct bearing, overturning, and sliding stability
the recommended design methodology is summarized by the checks. A key question that still exists for this type of wall
following steps: is whether inertial forces from the soil above the heel of a
semi-rigid gravity wall (for example, Figure 7-10 in this
1. Establish an initial wall design using the computer pro- report) is defined by the entire soil mass times the seismic
gram SNAIL or GOLDNAIL for static loading, using ap- coefficient or some lesser value.
• The MSE design methodology includes a critical review of
propriate load and resistance factors. This establishes
wall dimensions and weights. the existing AASHTO guidance, including internal stabil-
2. Establish the site peak ground acceleration coefficient (kmax) ity, and then identifies a step-by-step approach for evalu-
and spectral acceleration S1 at 1 second from the 1,000-year ating stability. Reference is made to the need to change ex-
maps adopted by AASHTO (including appropriate site soil isting software to handle this approach. Questions also still
modification factors). exist on the distribution of stresses within the reinforce-
ment strips during seismic loading.
3. Determine the corresponding PGV from correlation
equations between S1 and PGV (provided in Chapter 5).
Three other wall types were considered to lesser extents:
4. Modify kmax to account for wall height effects as described
nongravity cantilever walls, anchored walls, and soil nail walls.
in Section 7.6. Use the modified kmax in the SNAIL or
The design approach for each of these walls also used the re-
GOLDNAIL program. If the wall can tolerate displace-
sults of work presented in previous sections and chapters.
ments, use the SNAIL or GOLDNAIL program to estimate
the yield acceleration, ky. Use the yield acceleration to esti-
• For nongravity cantilever walls, the M-O method is believed
mate displacements following the procedures in Chapter 5.
to be an appropriate method to determine seismic active
pressures as long as there is flexibility in the wall and the
Note that both computer programs also provide an evalu- soil behind the wall is primarily cohesionless. Otherwise,
ation of global stability, and therefore, it is not necessary to charts in Figures 7-11 and 7-12 or a generalized limit equi-
perform an independent global stability analysis with a limit librium method can be used to estimate the seismic active
equilibrium program such as SLIDE. earth pressure. The seismic coefficient used for design can
be reduced by a factor of 0.5 as long as 1 to 2 inches of
7.10 Conclusions average permanent deformation at the excavation level are
acceptable. A structural engineer should make this evalua-
This chapter summarizes the approach being recommended tion. Checks on wall deflections also should be made to
for the seismic design of retaining walls. Force-based methods confirm that the basic assumptions associated with wall
using the M-O equations and a more generalized displacement- displacement are being met. Seismic passive pressures
based approach were evaluated. The methodologies intro- should be determined using a log spiral approach, such as
duce new height-dependent seismic coefficients, as discussed suggested by Shamsabadi et al. (2007).
in Chapters 5 and 6 and further refined in Section 7.5 for • In the case of the anchored wall, either a limit equilibrium
these analyses. procedure or a displacement based procedure suggested by
95

Whitman can be used. Seismic active earth pressures for zone and whether the current models adequately account
the limit equilibrium approach can be estimated using the for these distributions. Additional research is still required
M-O equation, charts in Figures 7-11 and 7-12, or the gen- to evaluate these questions.
eralized limit equilibrium approach. Soils must be homo-
geneous and cohesionless if using the M-O equation while In a number of areas it was apparent that significant defi-
the generalized limit equilibrium method can accept com- ciencies exist with current design methodologies. These de-
binations of soil conditions. The seismic coefficient for ficiencies reflect the complexity of the overall soil-structure
these analyses can be reduced by 50 percent as long as 1 to interaction problem that occurs during seismic loading. The
2 inches of average permanent movement are acceptable nature of these deficiencies is such that for several of the wall
and as long as anchor tendons and grouted zones are not types (for example, MSE, anchored, and soil nail) independent
overstressed. The Whitman displacement-based approach research efforts involving specific model and prototype testing
accounts for changing anchor tendon forces during seismic will be required to fully understand the mechanisms involved
loading and appears to represent the fundamental mecha- in seismic loading.
nisms that occur during seismic response of this wall type. While there is considerable work to be done, past expe-
However, the additional effort to make these evaluations rience also suggests that many of these wall types have per-
may not be warranted in areas where seismicity is low, and formed well during relatively high seismic loading, despite
the normal performance and proof testing of the anchors having either no provisions for seismic design or a very sim-
provides sufficient reserve capacity. ple analysis. In most cases this good performance occurred
• Soil nail walls can be treated as semi-gravity walls from an when walls were flexible or exhibited considerable ductility.
external stability standpoint. In most cases seismic coeffi- More problems were observed for rigid gravity walls and non-
cients can be reduced by 0.5 since this type of wall can usu- gravity cantilever walls, often because of the lack of seismic
ally tolerate several inches of permanent movement. For design for these walls. The methodologies suggested in this
internal stability there are still questions on the distribu- chapter should help improve the seismic performance of
tion of seismic forces to the nails within the reinforced these walls in the future.
96

CHAPTER 8

Slopes and Embankments

This chapter summarizes the results of embankment and nificantly in terms of geometry, material properties, and
slope stability studies that were carried out for the Project. groundwater conditions. In most cases the constructed slopes
The primary objectives of these studies were to: will be relatively uniform in soil conditions, though the con-
structed material will vary from sands and gravels to fill that
• Develop a methodology for evaluating the seismic re- has high fines content (that is, cohesive soil content). On the
sponse of embankments and slopes that can be easily used other hand the natural slopes will usually be highly variable,
by designers; with layers that range from gravels to clays and often the
• Account for the results of ground motion and wave scat- groundwater will be located within the slope.
tering studies presented in Chapters 5 and 6 in the pro-
posed approach; and
8.1.1 Engineered Slopes and Embankments
• Provide comments on the use of the proposed methodol-
ogy in low seismicity areas, where a “no analysis” approach These slopes generally will be constructed from an imported
may be appropriate for the seismic analysis and design of material. Depending on the geographic area, the imported
embankments and slopes. materials can be predominantly sands or gravels or they can
have a high percentage of cohesive soil. The slopes are com-
The proposed methodology is intended for use in con- pacted and will usually exhibit good strength characteristics.
structed embankments or naturally occurring soil slopes. As Slope angles often will range from 2H:1V (horizontal to ver-
noted in Section 4.3, rock slopes are not being considered in tical) to flatter than 3H:1V. Height of the slope can vary from
this development. a few feet to over 50 feet. A common example of these slopes
This chapter begins with a brief summary of the types of would be the approach fill used at either end of a bridge.
slopes and embankments commonly encountered during These approach fill slopes would be on the order of 30 feet in
transportation projects. This discussion is followed by a brief height.
summary of current practice, a summary of the methodology These slopes are perhaps the easiest to evaluate from the
being proposed, and an example application of this method- standpoint that the fill is defined, and therefore determina-
ology. The chapter is concluded with a discussion of other tion of material properties is more straight-forward. If the fill
considerations relative to the seismic analysis and design of is cohesionless, the friction angle (φ) will normally be 35 de-
slopes and embankments. As with previous chapters, the ap- grees or higher. If the fill has appreciable fines content, the
proach identified in this chapter will form the basis of the compacted strength often will be in excess of 2,000 psf. The
proposed specifications, commentaries, and example prob- groundwater location for most of these slopes will be at some
lems given in Volume 2 of this Final Report. distance below the base of the fill. The designs of these slopes
become problematic if the embankment fill is being placed on
a soft or liquefiable foundation material. In these cases the de-
8.1 Types and Performance
termination of the strength of the foundation material under
of Slopes
static and seismic loading becomes a key consideration dur-
Two general classes of slopes need to be considered for the ing the analysis.
methodology development: natural slopes and constructed or The geotechnical investigation of the engineered fill gener-
engineered slopes. These two categories of slopes will vary sig- ally will be limited to investigating the characteristics of the
97

foundation material. Explorations often would be conducted potential for seismic instability becomes a key consideration
to twice the slope height to define strength and compressibil- in some areas, particularly where critical lifeline transporta-
ity properties of soil layers upon which the embankment will tion routes occur.
be constructed. The geometry and properties of the fill will be
determined on the basis of right-of-way widths and costs of
8.2 Current Practice
importing fill material.
From a seismic design perspective these types of slopes are Earthquake-induced ground accelerations can result in sig-
routinely encountered as new roadways are constructed or nificant inertial forces in slopes or embankments, and these
existing roadways are modified. Both the field investigation forces may lead to instability or permanent deformations.
and the analysis of slope stability for these slopes are routinely Current practice for the analysis of the performance of slopes
handled for gravity loading and, in more seismically active and embankments during earthquake loading is to use one of
areas, for seismic loading. Performance of the constructed two related methods:
slope during seismic loading generally has been very good,
except where liquefaction of the foundation material occurs. 1. Limit equilibrium methods using a pseudo-static repre-
In this case, the loss of foundation strength from liquefaction sentation of the seismic forces. In this approach, induced
has led to embankment slope failures. seismic loads are used in a conventional limit equilibrium
analysis to evaluate a factor of safety. The seismic loads are
determined on the basis of the ground acceleration and
8.1.2 Natural Slopes
the mass of soil being loaded.
Natural slopes present more difficulties because of the wide 2. Displacement-based analyses using either the Newmark
range of conditions that occur within these slopes. Relatively sliding block concept shown schematically in Figure 8-1 or
uniform soil conditions can exist within the slope; however, more rigorous numerical modeling methods. In Figure 8-1,
most often the slope involves layers of different geologic ma- when the acceleration exceeds the yield acceleration (that
terials, and these materials often change from cohesionless to is C/D ratio = FS = 1.0), deformations accumulate leading
cohesive in characteristic. Groundwater often is found within to permanent ground deformation. This procedure is sim-
the slope, and sometimes the water is intermittently perched ilar to that adopted for retaining wall analysis as discussed
on less permeable layers. in Chapter 7.
Further complicating the evaluation of the natural slope is
the geometry. In areas where soils have been overconsolidated Use of these methods for design has been widely adopted
from glaciation, the slope angles can be steeper than 1H:1V, in the United States and in international design guidelines.
even where the fines content is minimal. Likewise in moun- For example, methods are described in detail in the FHWA
tainous areas the natural slopes can be marginally stable in the report titled Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering (FHWA,
existing state. Other natural slopes that are relatively flat can 1998a) and a publication on Guidelines for Analyzing and
have thin bedding planes characterized by very low friction Mitigating Landslide Hazards in California (SCEC, 2002).
angles for long-term loading. Where located adversely to a
planned slope cut, the removal of materials buttressing these
8.2.1 Limit Equilibrium Approach
slopes can initiate large slides under gravity loading and re-
activate slides during seismic events. The limit equilibrium approach involves introducing a
Natural slopes are often the most difficult to characterize seismic coefficient to a conventional slope stability analysis
in terms of layering and material characteristics. Access to and determining the resulting factor of safety. The seismic co-
conduct site explorations can be difficult, particularly where efficient is typically assumed to be some percentage of the
steep slopes exist. The variability of natural deposits forming site-adjusted PGA occurring at a site. The value can range
the slope often makes it difficult to locate or adequately from less than 50 percent of the peak to the PGA, depending
model soil layers critical to the evaluation of slope stability, on the designer’s views or agency requirements. Typically, a
either under gravity or seismic loading. slope is judged to be safe if the resulting factor of safety is
From a seismic perspective, natural slopes are where most greater than 1.1 to 1.3.
slope failures have been observed. Although there is no single As discussed in the FHWA publication, a wide variety of
cause of past failures, many of these failures have occurred commercially available computer programs exist that can
where slopes are oversteepened, that is, barely stable under perform both static and pseudo-static limit equilibrium
gravity loading. The size of the failure can range from small analyses. Most of these programs provide general solutions to
slides of a few yards of soil to movements involving thou- slope stability problems with provisions for using the simpli-
sands of yards of soil. In highly seismic areas of the WUS, the fied Bishop, simplified Janbu, and Spencer’s method of slices.
98

Figure 8-1. Newmark sliding block concept for slopes.

Potential sliding surfaces, both circular or polygonal, usually tions have a minor effect on the seismic stability evaluation
can be prespecified or randomly generated. Commonly used for most cases.
programs include PCSTABL (developed at Purdue Univer- A factor of safety is determined by applying the seismic co-
sity), UTEXAS4 (developed at the University of Texas at efficient in the limit equilibrium stability program. An allow-
Austin), SLOPE/W (distributed by Geo-Slope International), able factor of safety is selected such that behavior of the slope,
and SLIDE (RocScience). in terms of permanent deformation, is within a range con-
An important consideration in the limit equilibrium ap- sidered acceptable. A factor of safety (or C/D ratio) of more
proach is that the rate of loading during the earthquake is rel- than 1.0 when using the peak seismic coefficient implies no
atively fast. For this reason, in most cases undrained total slope movement, while a factor of safety less than 1.0 when
stress strength parameters should be used in the stability using the peak seismic coefficient implies permanent move-
model, rather than drained or effective stress parameters. The ment. Typically, the seismic coefficient is assumed to be 50 per-
undrained total stress parameters are obtained from static cent of the peak, as noted above, reflecting the acceptance of
strength tests conducted in the laboratory, from in situ 1 to 2 inches of permanent movement. In this case, as long as
strength testing or from empirical relationships. the factor of safety is greater than 1.1 to 1.3, the deformations
Although the rate effects associated with earthquake load- are assumed to be minimal.
ing may result in a higher undrained strength during the first The drawback of the limit equilibrium approach lies in
cycle of loading, various studies have shown that after 10 to the difficulty of relating the value of the seismic coefficient to
15 cycles of significant loading, as might occur during a seis- the characteristics of the design earthquake. Use of either the
mic event, degradation of the undrained strength often oc- peak ground acceleration coefficient or the peak average hor-
curs. In view of this potential for degradation, a conservative izontal acceleration over the failure mass, in conjunction with
approach is to use the static undrained strength in the seismic a pseudo-static factor of safety of 1.0, usually gives excessively
stability analysis. Where this simplification is questionable, conservative assessments of slope performance in earthquakes.
cyclic loading tests can be conducted in the laboratory to ob- However, often little guidance on selection of the seismic
tain a more precise definition of the strength parameters dur- coefficient as a fraction of the peak ground acceleration is
ing cyclic loading. available to the designer.
In the limit equilibrium approach, a seismic coefficient is Los Angeles County uses a nominal seismic coefficient of
used to determine the inertial forces imposed by the earth- 0.15 and requires a factor of safety >1.1. The recently pub-
quake upon the potential failure mass. The seismic coefficient lished guidelines by Southern California Earthquake Center
used in the analysis is based on the site-adjusted PGA ad- (SCEC) (2002) for the State of California suggests reducing
justed for wave scattering effects using the α factor defined in peak ground acceleration map values in California by about
Chapters 6 or 7. The vertical acceleration is normally set equal 0.3 to 0.6 (depending on earthquake magnitude and peak
to zero based on studies that have shown vertical accelera- ground acceleration values) to ensure slope displacements are
99

less than about 6 inches, a screening value suggested as a po- The Hynes and Franklin “upper bound” curve presented in Fig-
tential criteria to determine if a Newmark displacement ure 8-2 suggests that deformations will be less than 12 inches
analysis is necessary. (30 cm) for yield accelerations greater than or equal to one-
half the peak acceleration.
In utilizing such curves, it must be recognized that slope-
8.2.2 Displacement-Based Approach
height effects should be taken into account to determine a
In contrast to the limit equilibrium approach, the height-dependent, average maximum acceleration for use as
displacement-based approach involves the explicit calculation the kmax value (as was the case for retaining walls discussed in
of cumulative seismic deformation. The potential failure mass Chapter 7). This was recognized by the studies published by
is treated as either a rigid body or deformable body, depending Makdisi and Seed (1978), who developed slope displacement
on whether a simplified Newmark sliding block approach or design charts for the seismic design of earth dams.
more advanced numerical modeling is used. Results from the Makdisi and Seed (1978) analyses are
shown in Figure 8-3. Analyses were conducted for a limited
number of dam heights (for example, 75 to 135 feet) and
8.2.2.1 Newmark Sliding Block Approach
earthquake records. The lower left figure illustrates the nor-
The Newmark sliding block approach treats the potential malized reduction in average maximum seismic coefficient
failure mass as a rigid body on a yielding base. The accelera- with slide depth (equivalent to an α factor using the termi-
tion time history of the rigid body is assumed to correspond nology from Chapters 6 and 7), and equals an average of 0.35
to the average acceleration time history of the failure mass. for a full height slide (average height studied equals approxi-
Deformation accumulates when the rigid body acceleration mately 100 feet) which is compatible with values noted in
exceeds the yield acceleration of the failure mass (ky) where ky Chapters 6 and 7. A range of displacements as a function of
is defined as the horizontal acceleration that results in a factor ky/kmax is noted on the lower right figure and shows earth-
of safety of 1.0 in a pseudo-static limit equilibrium analysis. quake magnitude variation.
This approach may be used to calibrate an appropriate The Newmark displacement equations discussed in Chap-
pseudo-static seismic coefficient reflecting acceptable dis- ter 5 show insensitivity to earthquake magnitude, which is be-
placement performance, as discussed in Chapter 7 for retain- lieved to be better reflected in PGV. Makdisi and Seed note
ing wall analysis. Similar discussions for slopes are presented in that variability is reduced by normalizing data by kmax and the
the FHWA publication Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering natural period of embankments. The height parameter used
(FHWA, 1998a). For example, Figure 8-2 shows results of in the analyses conducted for this Project reflects changes in
Newmark seismic deformation analyses performed by Hynes natural period, and kmax is included in the Newmark equation.
and Franklin (1984) using 348 strong motion records (all soil/ In 2000 an updated approach for estimating the displace-
rock conditions; 4.5 < Mw < 7.4) and six synthetic records. ment of slopes during a seismic event was developed through
the SCEC. The displacement analysis procedures documented
in the SCEC (2002) Guidelines are relatively complex and
would require simplification for use in a nationwide specifi-
cation document. Recommended procedures described in the
SCEC Guidelines are illustrated by Figures 8-4 and 8-5.
Figure 8-4 shows the ratio of the maximum average seis-
mic coefficient (averaged over the slide mass) to the maxi-
mum bedrock acceleration multiplied by a nonlinear re-
sponse factor (NRF) (equals 1.00 for 0.4g) plotted against the
natural period (Ts) of the slide mass (4H/Vs, where H is the
average height of slide and Vs is the shear wave velocity) di-
vided by the dominant period Tm of the earthquake. In effect,
this plot is analogous to the plot of α versus the wall height
(assuming the height of the slide equals the wall height) dis-
cussed in Chapter 6. For example, if Tm = 0.3 sec, H = 20 feet,
NRF = 1, Vs = 800 ft/sec, then Ts /Tm = 0.1/0.3 = 0.33, and
hence α = 1 as would be expected. However, if H = 100 feet
with the same parameters, Ts /Tm = 0.5/0.3 = 1.66 and hence
Figure 8-2. Permanent seismic deformation chart α = 0.3, which is reasonably compatible with the α curves
(Hynes and Franklin, 1984). presented in Chapter 6.
100

Figure 8-3. Permanent seismic deformation charts (Makdisi


and Seed, 1978).

Figure 8-5 shows a median prediction sliding displacement 8.3 Proposed Design Methodology
chart, normalized by kmax and D5–95, an earthquake duration
parameter dependent on magnitude. For example, if ky/kmax = Two approaches for the seismic design of embankments
0.2, kmax = 0.4, D5–95 = 10 seconds, then u equals about 15 inches, and slopes are described in the previous section: (1) the limit
equilibrium approach, and (2) displacement-based method.
compared to about 6 inches (or 12 inches to achieve an 84 per-
Both are relatively simple to use, and both involve essentially
cent confidence level) for the recommended Newmark chart
the same modeling effort. The advantage of the displacement-
shown on Figure 7-18 of this report. This difference is rela-
tively small considering the general accuracy of the Newmark
method.

Figure 8-4. Normalized MHEA for deep-seated slide


surface vs. normalized fundamental period of slide Figure 8-5. Normalized sliding displacement
mass (Bray and Rathje, 1998). (SCEC, 2002; modified from Bray and Rathje, 1998).
101

based approach is that the amount of movement associated 2. Establish the site peak ground acceleration coefficient kmax
with the analysis is estimated, and sometimes this can be an and spectral acceleration at one second, S1 from the new
important consideration. Note that both approaches assume AASHTO ground motion maps for a 1,000-year return
that liquefaction or porewater pressure effects are not a con- period, including appropriate site soil modification factors.
sideration. Section 8.5.3 provides comments on the potential 3. Determine the corresponding PGV from correlation
treatment of liquefaction. equations between S1 and PGV (provided in Chapter 5).
4. Modify kmax to account for slope height effects for full
slope or embankment height stability analyses (note that
8.3.1 Limit Equilibrium Approach
α factors described in Chapter 7 for retaining walls appear
The limit equilibrium approach involves the following steps: compatible with those for slopes based on comparison
with analysis methods described above).
1. Conduct static slope stability analyses using appropriate 5. Determine the yield acceleration (ky) using a pseudo-static
resistance factors to confirm that performance meets static stability analysis for the slope (that is, the seismic coeffi-
loading requirements. Typically these will be a C/D ratio cient corresponding to a factor of safety equal to 1.0). Note
of 1.3 to 1.5 for natural slopes and 1.5 for engineered that these stability analyses should normally be conducted
slopes. A variety of factors should be considered when se- using the undrained strength of the soil because of the
lecting the C/D ratio including the quality of the site char- short-term loading from the earthquake.
acterization and the implications of failure. Both short- 6. Establish the earthquake slope displacement potential cor-
term, undrained stability, and long-term drained stability responding to the value of ky/kmax using the Newmark dis-
should normally be considered in this evaluation. placement chart recommendations given in Chapter 5.
2. Establish the site peak ground acceleration coefficient 7. Evaluate the acceptability of the displacement based on
kmax and spectral acceleration at one second, S1 from the performance criteria established by the owner for the spe-
new AASHTO ground motions maps for a 1,000-year re- cific project site.
turn period, including appropriate site soil modification
factors.
8.4 Example Application
3. Determine the corresponding PGV from correlation
equations between S1 and PGV (provided in Chapter 5). The proposed displacement-based methodology is illus-
4. Modify kmax to account for slope height effects for full trated by considering an existing slope located in the State of
slope or embankment height stability analyses (note that Washington. This slope is next to a heavily traveled roadway.
α factors described in Chapter 7 for retaining walls appear The roadway is being widened to accommodate projected in-
compatible with those for slopes based on comparison creases in traffic. Stability analyses were required to deter-
with analysis methods described above). mine the potential effects of seismic loading to the slopes lo-
5. Reduce the resulting kmax by a factor of 0.5, as long as 1 to cated above and below the roadway.
2 inches of permanent displacement are permissible. If
larger amounts of deformation are acceptable, further re-
8.4.1 Problem Description
ductions in kmax are possible, but these would have to be
determined by conducting separate calibration studies Seismic stability of the natural slopes was evaluated for the
between displacement and the ratio of the yield accelera- following conditions:
tion (ky) and kmax.
6. Conduct a conventional slope stability analysis using 0.5 • Slope angles ranging from 2H:1V up to 1H:1V.
kmax. If the factor of safety is at least 1.1, the slope meets • Soils comprised of glacial till and fill. Till is a dense silty
seismic loading requirements. sand with gravel. Standard penetration test (SPT) blow-
counts range from 30 blows per foot to refusal. Soil
strength values were interpreted from SPT blowcounts.
8.3.2 Displacement-Based Approach
(See Appendix J for sections and assigned properties).
The following displacement-based methodology is recom- • Groundwater located at the base of the slope.
mended for slopes and embankments, where the static strength • The firm-ground values of PGA, Ss, and S1 for site are esti-
parameters can reasonably be assumed for seismic analyses: mated to be 0.41g, 0.92g, and 0.30g, respectively, for the
1,000-year earthquake based on the USGS deaggregation
1. Conduct static slope stability analyses using appropriate website. (Note that at the time the example was developed,
resistance factors to confirm that performance meets static the new AASHTO ground motion hazard maps and im-
loading requirements. plementation CD were not available to the NCHRP 12-70
102

Project Team.) The soil conditions are representative of The summary in Table 8-2 indicates that the displacements
Site Class C. ranged from zero to a maximum of 73 inches, depending on
assumptions made for soil properties and the design earth-
The objective of the seismic stability study was to evaluate quake. Details for these analyses are included in Appendix J.
the displacements that would be expected for the design
earthquake. The owner also is interested in the risk to the
8.5 Other Considerations
roadway facility, and therefore, stability also was evaluated for
a 10 percent probability of exceedance in 50 years (475-year There are three other considerations relative to the seismic
event) and for a 2 percent probability of exceedance (2,475-year design of slopes and embankments: (1) the use of the limit
event). There is debate locally on the strength properties to equilibrium method for determining acceptability of slope
assign till; therefore, each of the commonly used alternatives under seismic loading, (2) the acceleration level at which a
is evaluated. “No Analysis” approach can be invoked, and (3) methods to
consider when there is a liquefaction potential. These con-
siderations are summarized below.
8.4.2 Results
The ground motion criteria for the site were obtained from
8.5.1 Limit Equilibrium Design Methods
the USGS website for the three return periods, as summarized
in Table 8-1; local site effects were considered using the pro- Computer programs are routinely used for evaluating the
cedures recommended in Chapter 5. static stability of slopes. As demonstrated in the example
The computer program SLIDE was used to determine the problem, the incremental effort to determine ky is relatively
static factor of safety and then the yield accelerations (ky) for minor. However, a particular state DOT may choose to de-
the various cases involved. With the yield acceleration, site- velop a value of kmax to use either (1) in pseudo-static screen-
adjusted PGV, and the site-adjusted peak seismic coefficient ing analyses (by calibrating against a displacement chart ap-
(that is, PGA adjusted for site class and wave scattering), the propriate for seismic hazard levels in their state) in lieu of
equations in Chapter 5 were used to estimate permanent dis- requiring a displacement analysis, or (2) if they feel a dis-
placement. The estimated displacements from the analyses placement level different than the several inches identified in
are summarized in Table 8-2. Section 8.3.1 is permissible.

Table 8-1. Ground motions for example problem.

Ground Motion Parameter


Parameter Units Site Class 7% in 75 Years 10% in 50 Years 2% in 50 Years
PGA B 0.41 0.31 0.58
Ss B 0.92 0.68 1.30
S1 B 0.30 0.22 0.44
Ss /2.5 0.37 0.27 0.52
Magnitude 6.8 6.8 6.8
Fpga C 1.00 1.10 1.00
D 1.10 1.20 1.00
Fv C 1.50 1.58 1.36
D 1.80 1.96 1.56
PGV In/sec C 25 19 33
In/sec D 30 24 38
β = Fv S1 / Fpga PGA* C 1.10 1.02 1.03
D 1.20 1.16 1.18
Failure Slope Height ft 15 15 15
α Factor per Equation 7-2 C 0.93 0.93 0.93
D 0.94 0.94 0.94
K av = PGA*Fpga * α C 0.38 0.32 0.54
D 0.42 0.35 0.54
103

Table 8-2. Results of ground displacement estimates for example


stability evaluation.

Ground Motion Displacement (inches)


Static C/D 10% in 50 2% in 50
Parameter Slope Angle Ratio kyield 7% in 75 Years Years Years
Upper Bound Till (φ = 42 degrees)
Case 1 1H to 1V 0.9 NA NA NA NA
Case 2 1.5H to 1V 1.3 0.13 6-9 3-5 14-18
Case 3 2H to 1V 1.7 0.25 <1 <1 3-4
Upper Bound Till (φ = 38 degrees, c = 200 psf)
Case 1 1H to 1V 1.2 0.09 12-19 7-11 26-32
Case 2 1.5H to 1V 1.6 0.26 <1 0 3
Case 3 2H to 1V 2.0 0.32 0 0 <1
Lower Bound Till (φ = 36 degrees)
Case 1 1H to 1V 0.8 NA NA NA NA
Case 2 1.5H to 1V 1.2 0.07 18-27 11-17 36-44
Case 3 2H to 1V 1.5 0.17 3-5 1-2 8-11

Typically, if the site is nonliquefiable (that is, significant minimum C/D ratio is 1.5 or more, and for natural slopes the
loss in strength does not occur during seismic loading), a seis- acceptable C/D ratio ranges from 1.3 to 1.5, depending on the
mic coefficient of 50 percent of the site-adjusted PGA (after potential consequences of slope instability.
adjustments for site soil effects and wave scattering) will re- The following results were developed to define combina-
sult in ground displacements of less than 1 to 2 inches, as long tions of slope angles and the site-adjusted PGA values below
as the resulting C/D ratio (that is, factor of safety) is greater which a seismic stability analysis did not appear warranted.
than 1.0. In view of the simplifications associated with this This guidance must be used with some care. It works best
method, common practice is to use a C/D ratio > 1.1 to de- when the slope is relatively homogeneous in consistency and
fine acceptable slope conditions. It is a fairly simple task to there is no water table within the slope. As the slope becomes
calibrate the reduction based on the typical site-adjusted PGA more complicated, particularly if there are thin, low-strength
and PGV for the area, the shape of the normalized response bedding planes, then this screening criteria identified in
spectrum, and the displacement that is acceptable. Newmark Table 8-3 should not be used and a detailed slope stability
curves in Chapter 5 then can be used to “back out” the ky analysis performed, in which the strength in each soil layer is
value. If the ky value is used in the slope stability computer modeled.
program as the seismic coefficient, and the resulting factor of
safety is greater than 1.0, acceptable slope displacements are
8.5.3 Liquefaction Potential
predicted.
No effort has been made within this Project to introduce
liquefaction effects into the seismic stability analysis. This
8.5.2 No Analysis Cut-off
topic has been specifically avoided due to the complexity of
The same concept as described in the preceding subsection the issues involved and the on-going debate regarding the
can be used to define a “no analysis” area. In this case, if the best approach for addressing liquefaction.
C/D ratio for gravity loading is greater than a predetermined Several approaches are currently being used or proposed.
value, then the slope will be inherently safe during seismic
loading, as long as liquefaction does not occur. For engi- • The simplest are the empirical relationships suggested by
neered slopes, most transportation agencies require that the Youd et al. (2002) for estimating displacement during lat-

Table 8-3. Proposed screening levels for no-analysis cut-off.


Slope Angle Fpga PGA

3H:1V 0.3

2H:1V 0.2
104

eral spreading. These relationships are based on empirical ever, in the absence of a consensus approach within the pro-
correlations between observed lateral displacement, earth- fession for handling this issue, it is difficult to provide specific
quake parameters, and soil conditions. This approach is guidance. The current difficulty in developing an approach
typically applied near rivers or other locations where slopes results from uncertainties in two areas: (1) the capacity of the
are gentle and a free face might exist. Generally, results from soil in its liquefied state, particularly where there are static
these methods are considered most suitable for screen- shearing stresses (that is, sloping ground effects) for the site
ing of potential displacement issues and involve too much and also where the soil could dilate under large deformations,
uncertainty for design. and (2) the ground motions to use after the seismic wave trav-
• An approach was suggested in the NCHRP 12-49 Project els through the liquefied soil. While numerical methods, such
(NCHRP Report 472, 2002) for addressing liquefaction of as DESRA (1978), are available to address the latter issue,
bridge abutments. This approach includes the effects of these methods are limited in availability to designers.
foundation pile pinning. Combinations of earthquake The approach used to address liquefaction during seismic
magnitude, site-adjusted PGA, and SPT blowcounts are slope and embankment design has and likely will continue to
used to decide whether the liquefaction analysis is required. require more research. Until a consensus is reached within the
A residual strength is assigned to the liquefied layer using profession, the NCHRP 12-70 Project team recommends using
either of two empirical relationships (Seed and Harder, the methodology summarized in the NCHRP 12-49 Project,
1990; Olson and Stark, 2002). While this approach is rela- but providing more cautionary words on the limitations of
tively simple to apply, it is often criticized that it relies on this method.
triggering relationships for liquefaction and does not prop-
erly account for the dilation effects that occur under large
8.6 Conclusions
ground displacement. Results of recent centrifuge research
programs also indicate the methodology may not replicate This chapter summarizes the approach recommended for
important mechanisms that occur during seismic loading. the seismic analysis and design of slopes. The methodology
• Various computer models, such as FLAC, also are used uses conventional limit equilibrium slope stability analysis
commonly to investigate the seismic stability problem methods, in combination with the Newmark method for es-
where liquefiable soils have been identified. These methods timating displacements. Relative to existing methods, the
seem to be used extensively by designers, often without approach:
having a particularly good understanding or appreciation
for the uncertainties of the model. One significant criticism • Incorporates the results of wave scattering and ground mo-
of this method is that thin layers that lead to ground dis- tion studies summarized in Chapters 5 and 6, including an
placement during liquefaction are often ignored. equation that relates the PGV to the spectral acceleration
• The NCHRP 20-07 Project initially suggested that the en- at one second.
tire issue of liquefaction could be ignored if the magnitude • Uses a new set of equations for estimating displacements
of the design earthquake is less than a value of approxi- that were calibrated against the USNRC strong motion data-
mately 6.5. The controlling magnitude was taken from a base, making the equations applicable to the CEUS as well as
study conducted by Dickenson et al. (2002) for the Oregon the WUS.
Department of Transportation. It is likely that Dickenson
and his co-authors did not intend for his work to be used The proposed method is thought to be relatively simple to
in this manner, and preliminary feedback from the geo- use and easily adopted by designers. The primary outstand-
technical community suggested that this approach was too ing issues are (1) the use of this method to develop a “no
unconservative for adoption by AASHTO. analysis” approach and (2) an appropriate methodology for
introducing liquefaction potential into the analysis. Interim
There is little doubt that liquefaction-related slope insta- approaches for addressing each of these issues are given in the
bility is an important consideration in some locations. How- chapter; however, further research on each is required.
105

CHAPTER 9

Buried Structures

This chapter provides results of analyses and sensitivity above-ground structures. Seismic performance records for
studies conducted for buried structures. These studies dealt culverts and pipelines have been very favorable, particu-
with the TGD and not PGD. The primary objectives of the larly when compared to reported damages to other highway/
TGD work were to: transportation structures such as bridges.
The main reason for the good performance of buried struc-
• Identify methodologies for evaluating the ovaling response tures has been that buried structures are constrained by the
of circular conduits, as well as the racking response of rec- surrounding ground. It is unlikely that they could move to any
tangular conduits, and significant extent independent of the surrounding ground or
• Conduct parametric studies and parametric evaluations be subjected to vibration amplification/resonance. Compared
for the methods being proposed. to surface structures, which are generally unsupported above
their foundations, buried structures can be considered to dis-
Results of analyses conducted to address these objectives are play significantly greater degrees of redundancy, thanks to the
summarized in the following sections. These analyses focused support from the ground. The good performance also may be
on deriving a rational procedure for seismic evaluation of partly associated with the design procedures used to construct
buried culverts and pipelines that consider the following sub- the embankment and backfill specifications for the culverts
jects: (1) general properties and characteristics of culverts and and pipes. Typical specifications require close control on
pipes, (2) potential failure modes for buried culverts and pipes backfill placement to assure acceptable performance of the
subject to seismic loading, (3) procedures used in current de- culvert or pipe under gravity loads and to avoid settlement of
sign practice to evaluate seismic response of buried structures, fill located above the pipe or culvert, and these strict require-
(4) derivation of detailed rational procedures for seismic eval- ments for static design lead to good seismic performance.
uation of both rigid and flexible culverts and pipes subject to It is important that the ground surrounding the buried
TGD, taking into consideration soil-structure interaction, and structure remains stable. If the ground is not stable and large
(5) providing recommendations on a general methodology PGD occur (for example, resulting from liquefaction, settle-
for seismic evaluation under the effects of PGD. These results ment, uplift, lateral spread, or slope instability/landslide),
consider both flexible and rigid culverts, burial depths that then significant damage to the culvert or pipe structures can
range from 0.5 to 5 diameters, various cross-sectional geome- be expected. Although TGD due to shaking also can damage
tries (for example, circular and rectangular) and wall stiff- buried structures, compared to the effects of PGD, the damage
nesses, and different properties of the surrounding soil. is typically of a more limited extent.

9.1 Seismic Performance of Culverts 9.2 Culvert/Pipe Characteristics


and Pipelines
Culvert/pipe products are available over a large range in
Damage to buried culverts and pipelines during earth- terms of material properties, geometric wall sections, sizes,
quakes has been observed and documented by previous in- and shapes. Pipe sizes as small as 1 foot and as large as culverts
vestigators (NCEER, 1996; Davis and Bardet, 1999 and 2000; with spans of 40 feet and larger are used in highway applica-
O’Rourke, 1999; Youd and Beckman, 2003). In general, buried tions. They can be composed of concrete, steel, aluminum,
structures have performed better in past earthquakes than plastic, and other materials. Detailed information about their
106

shapes, range of sizes, and common uses for each type of cul- existence of adequate soil support. This may be the weakness
vert or pipe are summarized by Ballinger and Drake (1995). of flexible culverts, in case of earthquakes, in that the soil
support can be reduced or lost during liquefaction or other
permanent ground failure mechanisms associated with
9.2.1 Flexible Culverts and Pipes
seismic events. Significant distortion or collapse of the cul-
In general, culverts and pipes are divided into two major vert cross section is likely if soil support is reduced or lost.
classes from the static design standpoints: flexible and rigid.
Flexible culverts and pipes typically are composed of either
9.2.2 Rigid Culverts and Pipes
metal (for example, corrugated metal pipe (CMP) made of
steel or aluminum) or thermoplastic materials (for example, Rigid highway culverts and pipes consist primarily of rein-
HDPE or PVC). Flexible culverts and pipes respond to loads forced concreted shapes that are either precast or cast-in-place.
differently than rigid culverts and pipes. Because their oval- Unreinforced concrete culverts and pipe structures are not rec-
ing stiffness is small, relative to the adjacent soil, flexible cul- ommended for use in seismic regions. The sizes of reinforced
verts and pipes rely on firm soil support and depend upon a concrete pipe (RCP) range (in diameter) from about 1 foot to
large strain capacity to interact with the surrounding soil to 12 feet. Larger RCP can be precast on the site or constructed
hold their shape, while supporting the external pressures im- cast-in-place. Rectangular four-sided box culverts can be fur-
posed upon them. nished precast in spans ranging from 3 feet to 12 feet. Larger
For static design, current AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design spans can be constructed cast-in-place. Three-sided precast
Specifications require as a minimum the following main design box culverts can be furnished in spans up to 40 feet.
considerations (in addition to the seam failure) for flexible cul- Unlike the flexible culverts and pipes, the strain capacity of
verts and pipes: (1) buckling (general cross sectional collapse rigid culverts and pipes is much lower. Rigid culverts must
as well as local buckling of thin-walled section), and (2) flexi- develop significant ring stiffness and strength to support ex-
bility limit for construction. Except for large box structures or ternal pressures. Hence, they are not as dependent upon soil
other large spans with shapes other than circular [per McGrath, support as flexible culverts.
et al., (2002) NCHRP Report 473], the flexural strength con- For static design, the primary design methods used for pre-
sideration (that is, bending moment demand) is generally not cast concrete pipe, either reinforced or unreinforced, include:
required for flexible culverts and pipes. (1) the Indirect Design Method, based on the laboratory three-
Neither current AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications edge bearing test, known as the test; (2) a more direct design
nor the McGrath, et al. (2002) study has addressed seismic de- procedure that accounts for bending moment, shear, thrust/
sign concerns for culvert structures. From the seismic design tension, and crack width (bucking is generally not an issue
standpoint, there are two main factors that must be considered: with rigid converts and pipes) around the periphery of the cul-
vert wall; and (3) methods employing computerized numer-
1. Bending moment and thrust evaluations: Seismic loading ical models accounting for soil-structure interaction effects.
is in general nonsymmetric in nature and therefore may re- For box culverts the static design uses the same criteria as
sult in sizable bending in the culvert structures (even for other reinforced concrete structures (for example, beams and
circular shape culverts). Furthermore, the behavior of thin- columns). In general, the effect of surrounding soils is ac-
walled conduits (such as for the flexible culverts and pipes) counted for by applying the soil pressures (active or at-rest)
is vulnerable to buckling. This behavior differs somewhat directly against the wall in the model, instead of fully taking
from that of a rigid concrete culvert structure, for which advantage of the soil-structure interaction effect. Most cur-
bending moments are often the key factor in judging struc- rent commercially available computer software can perform
tural performance. For buckling, thrust (that is, hoop the structural analysis required for this design. For other
force) is the key factor and seismically induced thrust can structural shapes, consideration of soil-structure interaction
be significant, particularly if the interface between the cul- becomes important and therefore is generally accounted for
vert or pipe structure and the surrounding soil is consid- by using computerized numerical models.
ered a nonslip condition (Wang, 1993). Therefore, it is im-
portant that both seismically induced bending and thrust
9.3 General Effects of Earthquakes
be evaluated using published solutions for circular tube
and Potential Failure Modes
(Moore, 1989; Janson, 2003) as failure criteria for evaluating
the seismic performance of CMP and polymeric conduits The general effects of earthquakes on culverts and pipe
(for example, corrugated HDPE pipes). structures can be grouped into two broad categories: ground
2. Soil-support considerations: Implicit in the current shaking and ground failure. The following sections discuss
AASHTO design assumptions for flexible culverts is the each category. As it will be demonstrated, soil-structure inter-
107

action plays a critical role in the evaluation of the effect of seis-


mic loading for both flexible and rigid culverts and pipes. A
unified evaluation procedure is developed in this chapter to
provide a rational and reliable means for seismic evaluations as
well as realistic design for buried culvert and pipe structures.

9.3.1 Ground Shaking


Ground shaking refers to the vibration of the ground pro-
duced by seismic waves propagating through the earth’s crust.
The area experiencing this shaking may cover hundreds of
square miles in the vicinity of the fault rupture. The intensity
of the shaking attenuates with distance from the fault rupture.
Ground shaking motions are composed of two different
types of seismic waves, each with two subtypes:

• Body waves travel within the earth’s material. They may be


either longitudinal compressional (P-) waves or transverse
shear (S-) waves, and they can travel in any direction in the
ground.
• Surface waves travel along the earth’s surface. They may be Figure 9-2. Ovaling and racking deformations.
either Rayleigh waves or Love waves.
The axial and curvature deformations are induced by com-
As stable ground is deformed by the traveling waves, any ponents of seismic waves that propagate along the culvert or
culverts or pipelines in the ground also will be deformed. The pipeline axis. Figure 9-1 shows the idealized representations of
shaking or wave traveling induced ground deformations are axial and curvature deformations. The general behavior of the
called transient ground deformations. linear structure is similar to that of an elastic beam subject to
When subject to transient ground deformations, the re- deformations or strains imposed by the surrounding ground.
sponse of a buried linear culvert or pipe structure can be de- Current design and analysis methodologies for pipeline
scribed in terms of three principal types of deformations: systems were developed typically for long, linear structures.
(1) axial deformations, (2) curvature deformations (refers The principal failure modes for long, continuous pipeline struc-
to Figure 9-1), and (3) ovaling (for circular cross section) or tures consist of (1) rupture due to axial tension (or pull out for
racking (for rectangular cross section) deformations (refers jointed segmented pipelines), and (2) local bucking (wrinkling)
to Figure 9-2). due to axial compression and flexural failure. If the pipelines
are buried at shallow depth, continuous pipelines in com-
pression also can exhibit beam-buckling behavior (that is,
global bucking with upward buckling deflections). If the axial
stiffness of the structures is large, such as that for a large sec-
tional concrete pipe, then the buckling potential in the longi-
tudinal direction is small for both local buckling and global
buckling. The general failure criteria for the above-mentioned
potential failure modes have been documented by previous
studies (O’Rourke and Liu, 1996).
It should be noted, however, that typical culvert structures
for transportation applications are generally of limited length.
For this condition, it is in general unlikely to develop signifi-
cant transient axial/curvature deformations along the culvert
structures. The potential failure modes mentioned above are
not likely to take place during the earthquake. The main focus
of this chapter will not be on the effects of axial/curvature de-
formations. Instead, the scope of this chapter will concentrate
Figure 9-1. Axial and curvature deformations. on transverse deformations of culverts and pipes.
108

The ovaling or racking deformations of a buried culvert or Each permanent ground deformation may be potentially cata-
pipe structure may develop when waves propagate in a direc- strophic to culvert or pipeline structures, although the dam-
tion perpendicular or nearly perpendicular to the longitudi- ages are usually localized. To avoid such damage, some sort of
nal axis of the culvert or pipe, resulting in a distortion of the ground improvement is generally required, unless the design
cross-sectional shape of the structure. Design considerations approach to this situation is to accept the displacement, local-
for this type of deformation are in the transverse direction. ize the damage, and provide means to facilitate repairs.
Figure 9-2 shows the ovaling distortion and racking deforma- Characteristics of permanent ground deformation and its
tion associated with a circular culvert or pipe and a rectangu- effects on culvert and pipes are extremely complex and must
lar culvert, respectively. The general behavior of the structure be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. It is unlikely that simple
may be simulated as a buried structure subject to ground de- design procedures or solutions can be developed due to the
formations under a two-dimensional, plane-strain condition. complex nature of the problem. In this chapter, detailed study
Ovaling and racking deformations may be caused by verti- of problems associated with permanent ground deformation
cally, horizontally, or obliquely propagating seismic waves of will not be conducted. Instead, only general guidelines and rec-
any type. Previous studies have suggested, however, that the ommendations on methodology for seismic evaluation under
vertically propagating shear wave is the predominant form of the effects of permanent ground deformation will be provided.
earthquake loading that governs the ovaling/racking behav-
ior for the following reasons: (1) except possibly in the very
9.4 Current Seismic Design Practice
near-source areas, ground motion in the vertical direction is
for Culverts or Other Buried
generally considered less severe than its horizontal compo-
Structures
nent, (2) vertical ground strains are generally much smaller
than shearing strain because the value of constrained modu- Currently there is no standard seismic design methodology
lus is much higher than that of the shear modulus, and (3) the or guidelines for the design of culvert structures, including
amplification of vertically propagating shear wave, particu- Section 12 within the current AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design
larly in the soft or weak soils, is much higher than vertically Specifications. The NCHRP Report 473 Recommended Specifi-
propagating compressional wave and any other type of waves cations for Large-Span Culverts, (NCHRP, 2002) does not ad-
traveling in the horizontal direction. Therefore the analysis and dress issues related to seismic evaluation of long-span culverts.
methodology presented in this chapter addresses mainly the ef- In the past, design and analysis procedures have been pro-
fects of vertically propagating shear waves on ovaling/racking posed by some researchers and design engineers for pipelines
behavior of the buried culverts or pipes. (for example, gas and water) or tunnel (that is, transportation
When subject to ovaling/racking deformations, a flexural or water) systems. While some of these procedures can be
type failure mode due to the combined effects of bending mo- used for the design and analysis of culverts and pipes (for ex-
ment and thrust force must be checked. The flexural failure ample, the transverse ovaling/racking deformation of the sec-
mode is typically the main concern for rigid culverts and pipes, tion, Figure 9-2), others cannot be directly applied because
such as those constructed with reinforced concrete. For flex- they are only applicable for buried structures with a long
ible culverts and pipes (typically, thin-walled conduits con- length, or with a deep burial depth. Furthermore, significant
structed with steel, aluminum, or thermoplastic such as HDPE disparity exists among engineers regarding the appropriate
or PVC), they are likely to be controlled by buckling, which design philosophy and methods of analysis applicable to var-
can occur in the elastic range of stresses. For buckling, thrust ious types of culvert structures.
is the key factor and conservative assumption must be made The following two paragraphs provide a brief description
regarding interface condition (slip or nonslip) between the of procedures and methodologies proposed in the past for
exterior surface of the conduit and the surrounding ground. seismic evaluation of buried structures in general:
An elastic buckling criterion for circular conduits in uniform
soil was proposed by Moore (1989) and may be used for buck- • O’Rourke (1998) provides a general overview of lifeline
ling potential evaluation purpose. earthquake engineering, including the treatment of seismic
evaluation of pipelines. O’Rourke and Liu (1996) present a
detailed methodology for evaluating response of buried
9.3.2 Ground Failure
pipelines subject to earthquake effects. Pipelines responses to
Ground failure broadly includes various types of ground in- both transient ground deformation and permanent ground
stability such as faulting, landslides, liquefaction (including deformation were addressed in these two studies. How-
liquefaction-induced lateral spread, settlement, flotation, etc.), ever, the focus of these studies was on pipeline behavior in
and tectonic uplift and subsidence. These types of ground the longitudinal direction which is more suitable for a long
deformations are called permanent ground deformations. continuous buried pipeline structure. Although failure
109

criteria for axial tension and axial compression (local To account for the effects of transient ground deformation
buckling/wrinkling and beam buckling) were developed, on tunnel structures, Wang (1993) developed closed-form
there were no discussions related to the procedure for eval- and analytical solutions for the determination of seismically
uating the transverse ovaling deformation of the pipe’s induced ovaling/racking deformations and the corresponding
cross-sectional behavior. internal forces (such as moments and thrusts) for bored as
• Based on the field performance of 61 corrugated metal pipes well as cut-and-cover tunnel structures. The procedure pre-
(CMP) that were shaken by the 1994 Northridge Earthquake, sented by Wang for the bored tunnels was developed from a
Davis and Bardet (2000) provided an updated approach to theory that is familiar to most mining/underground engineers
evaluating the seismic performance of CMP conduits. The (Peck et al., 1972). Simple and easy-to-use seismic design
focus of their study was on the ovaling and buckling (of charts were presented. The design charts are expressed prima-
the thin metal wall) of the transverse section behavior of the rily as a function of relative stiffness between the structure and
CMP. This approach involves the following general steps: the ground. Solutions for both full-slip and nonslip conditions
1. Estimate the initial condition of compressive strain in at the interface between soil and the exterior surface of the
the conduit, which is related to depth of burial. tunnel lining were developed. These solutions fully account
2. Estimate the compressive ground strain induced by a ver- for the interaction of the tunnel lining with the surrounding
tically propagating shear wave, which was calculated from ground. The results were validated through a series of finite
the closed-form solution for transient shearing strain, as element/difference soil-structure interaction analyses.
1
⁄2 γmax = vp/2Vs, where γmax is the maximum transient For the cut-and-cover tunnels (with a rectangular shape), the
shearing strain of the ground, vp is the horizontal peak design solutions were derived from an extensive study using
particle velocity transverse to the conduit, and Vs is the dynamic finite-element, soil-structure interaction analyses.
average shear wave velocity of the surrounding ground. A wide range of structural, geotechnical, and ground motion
3. Add the static and transient compressive strains. parameters were considered by Wang in his study. Specifically,
4. Compare the strain so determined with the critical com- five different types of cut-and-cover tunnel geometry were
pressive strain that would cause dynamic buckling (due studied, including one-barrel, one-over-one two-barrel, and
to hoop force) of the CMP pipe. The critical buckling one-by-one twin-barrel configurations. To quantify the effect of
strain (or strength) was assumed to be dependent on the relative stiffness on tunnel lining response, varying ground pro-
stiffness of the surrounding soil (Moore, 1989). files and soil properties were used in the parametric analyses.
Based on the results of the parametric analyses, a deformation-
The methodology derived by Davis and Bardet, although based design chart was developed for cut-and-cover tunnels.
more rational than most of the other procedures, has some Although these solutions were intended originally for tun-
drawbacks, including: nel structures (considered a fairly rigid type of structure), the
methodology is rational and comprehensive and provides a
• The procedure is applicable for thin-walled pipes only. The consistent and unified approach to solving the problem of
failure mode considered by using this procedure is prima- buried conduits subject to ground shaking regardless of
rily for buckling and does not include flexural (that is, whether they are rigid or flexible structures. With some ad-
bending) demand and capacity evaluation. The latter is a justments this approach also is applicable to the culvert and
very important failure mode that must be considered for pipe structures typically used for highway construction. There-
rigid culverts and pipes (such as those constructed with re- fore, a more detailed discussion of Wang’s approach is given
inforced concrete). in the following section.
• The soil-structure interaction effect was considered in eval-
uating the buckling capacity, but not in the evaluation of
9.5 General Methodology and
the demand (that is, earthquake-induced ground strains).
Recommended Procedures
• The method assumed that the strains in the pipe coincide
with those in the surrounding ground (that is, pipe de- The general methodology and recommended procedures
forms in accordance with the ground deformation in the for the ovaling of circular conduits and the racking of rectan-
free-field), on the basis of the assumption that there is no gular conduits developed by Wang (1993) are presented in
slippage at the soil-pipe interface. This assumption was in- the following two sections, respectively.
correct, as Wang (1993) pointed out in his study. Wang
concluded that the strains and deformations of a buried
9.5.1 Ovaling of Circular Conduits
conduit can be greater, equal, or smaller than those of the
surrounding ground in the free-field, depending on the The seismic ovaling effect on the lining of a circular conduit
relative stiffness of the conduit to the surrounding ground. is best defined in terms of change of the conduit diameter
110

(ΔDEQ) and incremental seismically induced internal forces using the earthquake-induced shearing stress and the strain-
[for example, bending moment (M) and thrust/hoop force compatible shear modulus of the surrounding ground. In this
(T)]. It should be noted that for flexible types of conduits approach, the expected free-field ground strain caused by the
(such as thin-walled metal, corrugated or noncorrugated, and vertically propagating shear waves for the design earthquake
thermoplastic pipes) buckling is the most critical failure mode is estimated using the following equation.
and therefore the thrust force, (T) is the governing quantity in
the evaluation. For rigid conduits (for example, constructed γ max = τ max Gm (9-2)
with reinforced concrete), the deformation of the lining, the τmax = maximum earthquake-induced shearing stress;
bending, the thrust as well as the resulting material strains are = (PGA/g) σv Rd;
all important quantities. These quantities can be considered as σv = total vertical overburden pressure at the depth cor-
seismic ovaling demands for the lining of the conduit and can responding to the invert of the culvert or pipe;
be determined using the following general steps: = γt (H + D);
γt = total unit weight of soil;
Step 1: Estimate the expected free-field ground strains H = soil cover thickness measured from the ground sur-
caused by the vertically propagating shear waves of the design face to the crown elevation;
earthquakes using the following formula: d = diameter of the circular culvert or pipe;
Rd = depth-dependent stress reduction factor;
γ max = Vs Cse (9-1)
= 1.0 − 0.00233z for z <30 feet where z is the depth to
where the midpoint of the culvert or pipe;
γmax = maximum free-field shearing strain at the elevation = 1.174 − 0.00814z for 30 feet < z <75 feet; and
of the conduit; Gm = effective, strain-compatible shear modulus of the
Vs = shear (S-) wave peak particle velocity at the conduit ground surrounding the culvert or pipe.
elevation; and
Cse = effective shear wave velocity of the medium sur- Alternatively, the maximum free-field shearing strain also
rounding the conduit. can be estimated by a more refined free-field site response
analysis (for example, conducting SHAKE analyses).
It should be noted that the effective shear wave velocity of Step 2: Given γmax, the free-field diameter change of the
the vertically propagating shear wave (Cse) should be com- conduit would be:
patible with the level of shearing strain that may develop in ΔDEQ-FF = 0.5 γ max D (9-3)
the ground at the elevation of the conduit under the design
earthquake shaking. However, if the fact that there is a hole/cavity in the ground
An important aspect for evaluating the transient ground (due to the excavation of the conduit) is considered, then the
deformation effects on culvert and pipe structures is to first diameter change in the ground with the cavity in it would be:
determine the ground strain in the free-field (in this case free-
ΔDEQ = ± 2 γ max (1 − νm ) D (9-4)
field shear strain, γmax) and then determine the response of
the structures to the ground strain. For a culvert or pipe struc- where
ture constructed at a significant depth below the ground sur- νm = Poisson’s ratio of the surrounding ground; and
face, the most appropriate design ground motion parameter D = diameter of the conduit structure.
to characterize the ground motion effects is not PGA. Instead,
PGV (in this case S-wave peak particle velocity, Vs) is a better It is to be noted that Equation (9-3) ignores the fact that
indicator for ground deformations (strains) induced during there is a cavity and a conduit structure in the ground, while
ground shaking. This is particularly important because given Equation (9-4) accounts for the presence of the cavity but
the same site-adjusted PGA value, the anticipated peak ground ignores the stiffness of the conduit. Equation (9-4) is applica-
velocity for CEUS could be much smaller than that for the ble for a flexible conduit in a competent ground. In this
WUS. The results based on the PGA versus PGV study pre- case, the lining of the conduit can be reasonably assumed to
sented in Chapter 5 in this report should be used in evaluat- conform to the surrounding ground with the presence of a
ing the maximum free-field shearing strain in Equation (9-1). cavity in it.
However, for most highway culverts and pipes, the burial In the study by Davis and Bardet (2000), it was assumed
depths are generally shallow (that is, within 50 feet from the that the CMP conform to the free-field ground deformation
ground surface). Under these conditions, it is more reason- (that is, Equation 9-3). For flexible conduits such as the CMP
able to estimate the maximum free-field shearing strain studied by Davis and Bardet, the actual pipe deformations/
111

strains should have been closer to the values predicted by Step 3: The diameter change (ΔDEQ) accounting for the
Equation (9-4) rather than by Equation (9-3), suggesting that soil-structure interaction effects can then be estimated using
the strains in the pipes calculated in that study were probably the following equation:
well underestimated.
This very simplified design practice has been used frequently ΔDEQ = ± 1 3( k1 Fγ max D )( full-slip ) (9-7)
in the past (that is, estimate the free-field ground deformations where
and then assume that the conduit structure would conform to k1 = seismic ovaling coefficient
the free-field ground deformations). By doing this, the soil-
structure interaction effect was ignored. This practice may lead = 12 (1 − νm ) ( 2 F + 5 − 6νm ) (9-8)
to either overestimated or underestimated seismic response of
The seismic ovaling coefficient curves plotted as a function
the structural lining, depending on the relative stiffness be-
of F and νm are presented in Figure 9-3.
tween the surrounding ground and the culvert.
The resulting maximum thrust (hoop) force (Tmax) and the
Further studies by Wang (1993) led to a more rational pro-
maximum bending moment (Mmax) in the lining can be de-
cedure in estimating the actual lining deformation by defining
rived as follows:
the relative stiffness between a circular lining and the sur-
rounding ground using two ratios designated as the compress- Tmax = {(1 6 ) k1 [ Em (1 + νm )] Rγ max }( full slip ) (9-9))
ibility ratio (C) and the flexibility ratio (F), as follows (Peck
et al., 1972): M max = {(1 6 ) k1 [ Em (1 + νm )] R 2 γ max }

C = { Em (1 − ν12 ) R} { E1 A1 (1 + νm )(1 − 2 νm )} (9-5) p)


= RTmax ( full slip (9-10)

F = { Em (1 − ν12 ) R3 } {6 E1 I1 (1 + νm )} (9-6) It should be noted that the solutions provided here are
based on the full-slip interface assumption (which allows
where normal stresses, that is, without normal separation, but no
Em = strain-compatible elastic modulus of the surrounding tangential shear force). According to previous investigations,
ground; during an earthquake, slip at interface is a possibility only for
νm = Poisson’s ratio of the surrounding ground; a conduit in soft soils, or when the seismic loading intensity
R = nominal radius of the conduit; is very high. In most cases, the condition at the interface is be-
El = Elastic modulus of conduit lining; tween full-slip and no-slip.
νl = Poisson’s ratio of the conduit lining; In computing the forces and deformations in the lining, it
Al = lining cross-sectional area per unit length along culvert is prudent to investigate both cases, and the more critical one
axial alignment; should be used in design. The full-slip condition gives more
t = lining thickness; and conservative results in terms of maximum bending moment
Il = moment of inertia of lining per unit length of tunnel (Mmax) and lining deflections (ΔDEQ). This conservatism is de-
(in axial direction). sirable to offset the potential underestimation (about 15 per-
cent) of lining forces resulting from the use of a pseudo-static
The flexibility ratio (F) tends to be the governing factor for
the bending response of the lining (distortion) while the
compressibility ratio (C) tends to dominate the thrust/hoop
forces/strains of the lining. When F < 1.0, the lining is consid-
ered stiffer than the ground, and it tends to resist the ground
and therefore deforms less than that occurring in the free-
field. On the other hand, when F > 1, the lining is expected to
deform more than the free-field. As the flexibility ratio con-
tinues to increase, the lining deflects more and more than the
free-field and may reach an upper limit as the flexibility ratio
becomes infinitely large. This upper limit deflection is equal
to the deformations displayed by a perforated ground, calcu-
lated by the Equation (9-4) presented above.
The strain-compatible elastic modulus of the surrounding
ground (Em) should be derived using the strain-compatible
shear modulus (Gm) corresponding to the effective shear wave
propagating velocity (Cse). Figure 9-3. Seismic ovaling coefficient, K1.
112

model in deriving these close-form solutions in lieu of the


dynamic loading condition (that is, some dynamic amplifi-
cation effect). Therefore, the solutions derived based on the
full-slip assumption should be used in evaluating the moment
(Equation 9-10) and deflection (Equation 9-7) response of a
circular conduit (that is, culvert/pipe in this study).
The maximum thrust/hoop force (Tmax) calculated by
Equation (9-9), however, may be significantly underesti-
mated under the seismic simple shear condition and may lead
to unsafe results, particularly for thin-wall conduit (flexible
culverts and pipes) where buckling potential is the key poten-
tial failure mode. It is recommended that the no-slip interface
assumption be used in assessing the lining thrust response.
The resulting expression, after modifications based on Hoeg’s Figure 9-4. Seismic thrust/hoop force response
work (Schwartz and Einstein, 1980), is: coefficient, k2 (no-slip interface; soil Poisson’s
ratio = 0.2).
Tmax = {k2 [ Em 2 (1 + νm )] Rγ max } no-slip (9-11)

Where the thrust/hoop force response coefficient k2 is de-


fined as:

k2 = 1 + { F [(1 − 2 νm ) − (1 − 2 νm )C ] − 1 2 (1 − 2 νm ) C + 2}
2

{F [(3 − 2νm ) + (1 − 2νm )C ]


+ C [5 2 − 8 νm + 6 νm2 ] + 6 − 8 νm } (9-12)

A review of Equation (9-11) and the expression of k2 sug-


gests that the maximum lining thrust/hoop force response is a
function of compressibility ratio, flexibility ratio, and Poisson’s
Ratio. Figures 9-4 through 9-6 graphically describe their in-
terrelationships. As the plots show:
Figure 9-5. Seismic thrust/hoop force response
• The seismically induced thrust/hoop force increases with coefficient, k2 (no-slip interface; soil Poisson’s
decreasing compressibility ratio and decreasing flexibility ratio = 0.35).

Figure 9-6 Seismic thrust/hoop force response coefficient,


k2 (no-slip interface; soil Poisson’s ratio = 0.5).
113

ratio when the Poisson’s ratio value of the surrounding poses, the racking stiffness can be obtained by applying a unit
ground is less than 0.5. lateral force at the roof level, while the base of the structure is
• When the Poisson’s ratio approaches 0.5 (for example, for restrained against translation, but with the joints free to rotate.
saturated undrained clay), the thrust response of the lining The structural racking stiffness is defined as the ratio of the
is essentially independent of the compressibility ratio. applied force to the resulting lateral displacement.
Step 3: Derive the flexibility ratio (Frec) of the rectangular
The theoretical solutions and their applicability to typical structure using the following equation:
culvert and pipeline structures is further verified for reason-
ableness by numerical analysis presented in the next section. Frec = (Gm K s )  ( L H ) (9-14)

9.5.2 Racking of Rectangular Conduits where


L = width of the structure; and
Racking deformations are defined as the differential side-
Gm = average strain-compatible shear modulus of the sur-
ways movements between the top and bottom elevations of
rounding ground.
rectangular structures, shown as “Δs” in Figure 9-7. The re-
sulting structural internal forces or material strains in the lin-
ing associated with the seismic racking deformation (Δs) can The flexibility ratio is a measure of the relative racking stiff-
be derived by imposing the differential deformation on the ness of the surrounding ground to the racking stiffness of the
structure in a simple structural frame analysis. structure. The derivation of Frec is schematically depicted in
The procedure for determining Δs and the corresponding Figure 9-8.
structural internal forces [bending moment (M), thrust (T), Step 4: Based on the flexibility ratio obtained form Step 3
and shear (V)], taking into account the soil-structure inter- above, determine the racking ratio (Rrec) for the structure
action effects, are presented below (Wang, 1993). using Figure 9-5 or the following expression:

Rrec = 2 Frec (1 + Frec ) (9-15)


Step 1: Estimate the free-field ground strains γmax (at the
structure elevation) caused by the vertically propagating shear The racking ratio is defined as the ratio of actual racking
waves of the design earthquakes, refer to Equation (9-1) or deformation of the structure to the free-field racking defor-
Equation (9-2) and related discussions presented earlier in mation in the ground. The solid triangular data points in Fig-
Section 9.4.1. Determine the differential free-field relative dis- ure 9-9 were data generated by performing a series of dynamic
placements (Δfree-field) corresponding to the top and the bottom finite element analyses on a number of cases with varying
elevations of the rectangular/box structure by: soil and structural properties, structural configurations, and
Δ free-field = H  γ max (9-13) ground motion characteristics. Note, however, these data were
generated by using structural parameters representative of typ-
where H is height of the structure. ical transportation tunnels during the original development
Step 2: Determine the racking stiffness (Ks) of the structure of this design methodology. The validity of this design chart
from a simple structural frame analysis. For practical pur- was later verified and adjusted as necessary by performing

Figure 9-7. Racking deformations of a rectangular conduit.


114

Figure 9-8. Relative stiffness of soil versus rectangular frame.

Figure 9-9. Racking ratio between structure and free-field.


115

have been validated through a series of parametric numerical


analyses. The applications of these simple design charts to
vehicular/transit tunnels also have been successfully applied
in real world projects in the past, particularly for deep tunnels
surrounded by relatively homogeneous ground.
There are, however, differences between vehicular/transit
tunnels and buried culverts and pipes. For example, tunnel
structures are generally of large dimensions and typically have
much greater structural stiffness than that of culverts and pipe
Figure 9-10. Simple frame analysis of structures. In addition, culverts and pipes are generally buried
racking deformations. at shallow depths where the simplified procedure developed
for deep tunnels may not necessarily be directly applicable.
To address the issues discussed above, numerical analysis
similar numerical analysis using parameters that are repre- using finite element/finite difference procedures was per-
sentative of highway culvert structures. formed for a wide range of parameters representative of actual
As indicated in Figure 9-9, if Frec = 1, the structure is con- culvert properties and geometries (that is, for flexible as well
sidered to have the same racking stiffness as the surrounding as rigid culverts). In addition, the parametric analysis included
ground, and therefore the racking distortion of the structure the construction condition in terms of burial depth. The
is about the same as that of the ground in the free field. When analysis, assumptions, and results are presented in the follow-
Frec is approaching zero, representing a perfectly rigid structure, ing sections.
the structure does not rack regardless of the distortion of the
ground in the free field. For Frec > 1.0 the structure becomes
flexible relative to the ground, and the racking distortion will 9.6.1 Types of Structures and Other
be magnified in comparison to the shear distortion of the Parameters Used in Evaluation
ground in the free field. This magnification effect is not caused The various parameters studied in this analysis are sum-
by the effect of dynamic amplification. Rather it is attributed marized in Table 9-1.
to the fact that the ground has a cavity in it as opposed to the
free field condition.
Step 5: Determine the racking deformation of the structure 9.6.2 Model Assumptions and Results
(Δs) using the following relationship: Six sets of parametric analyses were conducted. Assump-
Δ s = Rrec  Δ free-field (9-16) tions made and results from these analyses are summarized
in the following sections.
Step 6: The seismic demand in terms of internal forces (M,
T, and V) as well as material strains can be calculated by im-
9.6.2.1 Parametric Analysis—Set 1
posing Δs upon the structure in a frame analysis as depicted
in Figure 9-10. Model Assumptions—Set 1. The parametric analysis—
It should be noted that the methodology developed above Set 1 (the Reference Set) started with a 10-foot diameter cor-
was intended to address the incremental effects due to earth- rugated steel pipe (or an equivalent liner plate lining) and a
quake-induced transient ground deformation only. The seis- 10-foot diameter precast concrete pipe to represent a flexible
mic effects of transient racking/ovaling deformations on cul- and a rigid culvert structure, respectively. Specific properties
verts and pipes must be considered additional to the normal used for these two different types of culvert structures are pre-
load effects from surcharge, pavement, and wheel loads, and sented in Table 9-2.
then compared to the various failure criteria considered rel- The soil profile used for Set 1 parametric analysis was as-
evant for the type of culvert structure in question. sumed to be a homogeneous deep (100-foot thick) soil de-
posit overlying a rigid base (for example, base rock). The as-
sumed Young’s modulus and Poisson’s ratio are Em = 3,000
9.6 Parametric and
psi and νm = 0.3, respectively. It is recognized that this is an
Verification Analysis
ideal representation of actual conditions; however, these con-
Section 9.5 presents rational ovaling and racking analysis ditions provide a good basis for making comparison in para-
procedures robust enough to treat various types of buried metric analysis.
conduit structures. Some simple design charts have also been To account for the effects of shallow soil cover, five cases of
developed to facilitate the design process. These design charts varying embedment depths were analyzed for each culvert
116

Table 9-1. Parameters used in the parametric analysis.

Parameters Descriptions
Structure Types FLEXIBLE CULVERTS:
Corrugated Aluminum Pipe
Corrugated Steel Pipe
Corrugated HDPE Pipe
RIGID CULVERTS:
Reinforced Concrete Pipe
Reinforced Concrete Box Type
Burial Depths 5d, 3d, 2d, 1d, 0.5d,
(“d” represents the diameter of a circular pipe or the height of a box concrete
culvert)
Cross Section Circular
Geometry Types Square Box
Rectangular Box
Square 3-sided
Rectangular 3-sided
Diameters of Circular 5 feet (Medium Diameter)
Culverts 10 feet (Large Diameter)
Wall Stiffness of FLEXIBLE CULVERTS:
Circular Culverts 4
I=0.00007256 ft /ft, E= 2.9E+07 psi (Steel)
4
I=0.00001168 ft /ft, E= 1.0E+07 psi (Aluminum)
4
I=0.0005787 ft /ft, E= 1.1E+05 psi (HDPE)
Size Dimensions of 10 feet x 10 feet: Square Box and Square 3-sided
Box Culverts 10 feet x 20 feet: Rectangular Box and Rectangular 3-sided
Wall Stiffness of RIGID CULVERTS:
Box Culverts 4
I=0.025 ft /ft, t=0.67 ft, E= 4.0E+06 psi (Concrete)
4
I=0.2 ft /ft, t=1.33 ft, E= 4.0E+06 psi (Concrete)
Properties of E=3,000 psi (Firm Ground)
Surrounding E=7,500 psi (Very Stiff Ground)
Ground*
Total Unit Weight = 120 psf

* Note: The Young’s Modulus values used in this study are for parametric analysis purposes only.

Table 9-2. Parametric Analysis Set 1—culvert lining properties (Reference Set).

Rigid Culvert Flexible Culvert


Culvert Properties (Concrete Pipe) (Corrugated Steel Pipe)

Culvert Diameter, ft 10 10
2
Young's Modulus, E/(1-v ), used in
2-D Plane Strain Condition, psi 4.0E+06 2.9E+07

0.00007256 ft4/ft
4
Moment of Inertia I, ft /ft 0.025 ft4/ft 4
(=1.505 in /ft)

Sectional Area A, ft2 per ft 0.67 0.02


2
EI (lb-ft per ft) 1.44E+07 3.03E+05

AE (lb per ft) 3.86E+08 8.35E+07

Poisson's Ratio 0.3 0.3

Note: Ground condition (firm ground with Em = 3000 psi, νm = 0.3).


117

Table 9-3. Analyses performed for variable embedment depths.

Soil Cover Culvert Diameter Embedment Depth


Cases Analyzed H (feet) d (feet) Ratio, H/d

Case 1 50 10 5

Case 2 30 10 3

Case 3 20 10 2

Case 4 10 10 1

Case 5 5 10 0.5

Case 6 2 10 0.2

type (that is, the flexible type and the rigid type). The six cases Results of Analysis—Set 1. Figures 9-19 and 9-20 show
of embedment depths are listed in Table 9-3. examples of culvert lining response in terms of lining
Figures 9-11 through 9-15 show the finite difference meshes thrust/hoop forces and bending moments, respectively. Ex-
(using computer program FLAC) used for the parametric amples presented in Figures 9-19 and 9-20 are for the flexi-
analysis accounting for the variable culvert embedment depths. ble culvert under the Case 1 conditions (that is, with a soil
Figure 9-16 graphically defines the “Embedment Depth cover of 50 feet deep). As indicated, the maximum response
Ratio” cited in Table 9-3. Figure 9-17 shows the culvert lining (that is, the most vulnerable locations) occurs at the knee-
modeled as continuous beam elements in the finite difference, and-shoulder locations around the lining, consistent with
soil-structural interaction analysis. the generally observed damage/damage mechanism for
The entire soil-structure system was subjected to an artifi- buried pipes/culverts (as well as circular tunnels) during
cially applied pseudo-horizontal acceleration of 0.3g (accelera- major earthquakes in the past (refer to the mechanism sketch
tion of gravity), simulating earthquake-induced vertically prop- depicted in Figure 9-2).
agating shear waves. As a result, lateral shear displacement in the Using the lining information presented in Table 9-2 and
soil overburden will occur. A simple, uniform pseudo accelera- the soil properties of the surrounding ground (that is, Em =
tion and a simple, uniform soil profile (with a uniform soil stiff- 3,000 psi, νm = 0.3), the compressibility ratio (C) and flexibil-
ness modulus) were assumed for simplicity and are desirable in ity ratio (F) for the two culverts were calculated using Equa-
parametric analysis. Figure 9-18 presents the resulting lateral tion (9-5) and Equation (9-6), respectively. Their values are
soil displacement profile under lateral acceleration of 0.3g. presented in Table 9-4. The results of the analysis in terms of

Figure 9-11. Case 1 finite difference mesh Figure 9-12. Case 2 finite difference mesh
(soil cover = 50 feet). (soil cover = 30 feet).
118

Figure 9-13. Case 3 finite difference mesh Figure 9-15. Case 5 finite difference mesh
(soil cover = 20 feet). (soil cover = 5 feet).

lining deformations (diameter changes) are presented in about 15 percent to 20 percent. This result is consistent
Tables 9-5 and 9-6. with previous studies as discussed in Section 9.5.1.
From these analyses the following observations were made:
The data contained in Table 9-6 is graphically presented in
• Flexible culverts experience greater deformation than the Figure 9-21. As seen, the flexible culvert deforms significantly
ground deformation in the free-field for both full-slip and more than the free field because its flexibility ratio (F = 22.6)
no-slip cases. is significantly greater than 1.0, suggesting the ground is much
• Rigid culverts experience less deformation than the ground stiffer than the lining. For the rigid culvert with F = 0.482 < 1.0,
deformation in the free-field for both full-slip and no-slip the lining is stiffer than the ground and therefore deforms less
cases. than the free-field.
• The full-slip condition gives more conservative values of Figure 9-22 shows the effects of culvert embedment depth on
lining deflections (ΔDEQ) than the nonslip condition by the lining deformations, expressed by the ratios of the lining to
free-field deformation. It can be seen that the ratios of the lin-
ing to free-field deformation remained almost unchanged for
an embedment ratio of 1.0 or greater. When the embedment

Figure 9-14. Case 4 finite difference mesh


(soil cover = 10 feet). Figure 9-16. Definition of embedment depth ratio.
119

vert than for the flexible culvert. The thrust ratio presented in
Figure 9-23 is defined as the maximum lining thrust obtained
from the finite difference analysis normalized to that derived
using the close-form solutions in Equations (9-11) and (9-12)
(for the no-slip interface condition). As indicated, the theo-
retical close-form solution somewhat overestimates the lining
thrust/hoop forces when the culvert is buried at shallow depth.
For a rigid culvert, the overestimation is no more than 15 per-
cent. For a flexible culvert the overestimation is negligible. The
figure also shows that the effect of embedment is negligible
when the embedment ratio is greater than about 3 or 4.
The embedment effects on bending response are illustrated
in Figure 9-24. Based on the results from the analysis, it ap-
pears that the potential for overestimation of bending de-
mand would occur for rigid types of culvert structures buried
at shallow depths by as much as 30 to 35 percent. Figure 9-24
also suggests that the effects of embedment depth on bending
response are insignificant when the embedment depth ratio
is greater than about 3.
Figure 9-17. Culvert beam element number.
It should be noted that the main reason for the overesti-
mation in thrust and bending forces is that the maximum
ratio is less than 1.0, the ratio of the actual culvert diameter free-field ground shearing strain used in calculating the close-
change to the free-field deformation decreases gradually. form solutions (Equation 9-11 and Equation 9-12) is the
The culvert embedment depth, however, showed some ef- maximum shearing strain that occurs at the culvert invert
fects on the thrust/hoop force and bending response of the (instead of the average free-field shearing strain within the
lining, as indicated in Figures 9-23 and 9-24. The embedment culvert depth). These results suggest that the maximum free-
effect on the thrust response is more obvious for the rigid cul- field ground strain is on the safe side.

Figure 9-18. Soil deformations subjected to pseudo lateral acceleration of 0.3g.


120

Figure 9-19. Culvert lining thrust/hoop force distribution (for flexible culvert in Set 1,
Case 1 geometry).

Figure 9-20. Culvert lining bending moment distribution (for flexible culvert in Set 1,
Case 1 geometry).
121

Table 9-4. Culvert lining compressibility and flexibility used in analysis.

Rigid Culvert Flexible Culvert


Properties (Concrete Pipe) (Corrugated Steel Pipe)

Compressibility Ratio, C 0.011 0.05

Flexibility Ratio, F 0.482 22.6

Table 9-5. Free-field ground strain and diameter change.

Closed-Form Free-Field Ground


Free-Field Maximum Ground Shear Diameter Change Using Eq. 9-3
Case No. Strain (from FLAC Analysis) ΔD=0.5*D* γmax
(Embedment Ratio) γ max (feet)

Case 1 (H/d=5) 0.0129 0.065

Case 2 (H/d=3) 0.0085 0.043

Case 3 (H/d=2) 0.0064 0.032

Case 4 (H/d=1) 0.004 0.02

Case 5 (H/d=0.5) 0.003 0.015

Case 6 (H/d=0.2) 0.0022 0.011

Note: The maximum free-field ground shearing strain is the maximum shearing strain that could occur within the full depth
of the culvert (that is, from the crown to the invert). In the pseudo-static FLAC analysis, the maximum ground shearing
strains occur at the invert in all cases.

Table 9-6. Culvert diameter change—effect of interface slippage condition.

Culvert Diameter
Culvert Diameter Change (ft) Change (ft) for No-Slip
Case No. for Full-Slip Interface Using Interface Using FLAC Diameter Change Ratio
(Embedment Ratio) Eq. 9-7 Analysis for No-Slip to Full-Slip

For Flexible Culvert

Case 1 (H/d=5) 0.169 0.129 0.77

Case 2 (H/d=3) 0.111 0.082 0.74

Case 3 (H/d=2) 0.084 0.059 0.70

Case 4 (H/d=1) 0.052 0.036 0.68

Case 5 (H/d=0.5) 0.039 0.024 0.62

Case 6 (H/d=0.2) 0.029 0.018 0.62

For Rigid Culvert

Case 1 (H/d=5) 0.042 0.034 0.80

Case 2 (H/d=3) 0.028 0.021 0.77

Case 3 (H/d=2) 0.021 0.015 0.72

Case 4 (H/d=1) 0.013 0.009 0.67

Case 5 (H/d=0.5) 0.010 0.006 0.57

Case 6 (H/d=0.2) 0.007 0.004 0.51


122

Figure 9-21. Culvert deformations versus free-field


deformations.
Figure 9-23. Embedment effects on culvert maximum
thrust/hoop forces.
Additional Parametric Analysis and Results. Additional
parametric analyses included (1) different circular culvert/
pipe sizes; (2) different culvert/pipe material, such as corru- rigid culvert. Similarly for the flexible culvert, C and F were
gated aluminum and HDPE pipes; (3) different soil stiffness; reduced from 0.05 to 0.025 and from 22.6 to 2.856, respec-
(4) square and rectangular shape culverts (constructed with tively (see Table 9-7).
reinforced concrete; (5) 3-sided flat roof rectangular concrete
culverts; and (6) different culvert/pipe wall stiffness. These Results of Analyses—Set 2. Figures 9-25 through 9-27
additional analyses were used to further verify that with some present the results of FLAC analysis. Compared to results
modifications, the close-form solutions developed for deep from Set 1 analysis (refer to Figures 9-22 through 9-24), the
circular bored tunnels and rectangular cut-and-cover tunnels Set 2 results indicated that:
(refer to Section 9.5) also can be used for circular and rectan-
gular culvert structures. • The ratios of the actual culvert deformation to free-field
ground deformation were significantly reduced, reflecting
9.6.2.2 Parametric Analysis—Set 2 the effect of higher culvert lining stiffness because of the re-
Model Assumptions—Set 2. Assumptions and parame-
duced culvert diameter.
• The bending and thrust force response of the smaller
ters used in parametric analysis Set 2 are the same as those
used in Set 1 (the Reference Case) except (1) the culvert di- 5-foot diameter culvert, when normalized to the close-
ameter was reduced from 10 feet to 5 feet; (2) the total soil form solutions, show similar trends to that of the larger
profile depth has been reduced from 100 feet to 50 feet; and culvert (10-foot diameter). Based on results in Figure 9-26,
(3) the culvert embedment depth was halved in each respec- when the burial depth is small, the close-form solutions
tive case to maintain the same embedment ratio (H/d). Be- (using the conservative maximum free-field ground strain
cause of this reduction in culvert size the resulting compress- value at the culvert invert elevation) tend to overestimate
ibility ratio (C) was reduced from 0.011 to 0.005 and the the thrust response by up to about 20 percent for the flex-
flexibility ratio (F) was reduced from 0.482 to 0.061 for the ible culvert. For the rigid culvert the overestimation is
greater than about 30 percent at very shallow burial depth.

Figure 9-22. Ratios of culvert deformations versus Figure 9-24. Embedment effects on culvert maximum
free-field deformations. bending moments.
123

Table 9-7. Parametric analysis set 2—culvert lining properties.

Rigid Culvert Flexible Culvert


Culvert Properties (Concrete Pipe) (Corrugated Steel Pipe)

Culvert Diameter, ft 5 5
2
Young's Modulus, E/(1-v ), psi 4.0E+06 2.9E+07
4
Moment of Inertia, ft /ft 0.025 0.00007256
2
Sectional Area, ft per ft 0.67 0.02
2
EI (lb-ft per ft) 1.44E+07 3.03E+05

AE (lb, per ft) 3.86E+08 8.35E+07

Poisson's Ratio 0.3 0.3

Compressibility, C 0.005 0.025

Flexibility Ratio, F 0.061 2.856

Note: Ground condition (firm ground with Em = 3000 psi, νm = 0.3).

The effect of shallow embedment depth on bending shows This suggests that the analytical methodology and procedure
similar trends to the thrust response (refer to Figure 9-27). previously presented in Section 9.5 provide a robust ap-
proach to accounting for the soil-structure interaction effect
9.6.2.3 Parametric Analysis—Set 3 in evaluating the seismic behavior of culverts with varying
characteristics.
Model Assumptions—Set 3. In this set of analyses the as-
sumptions and parameters are the same as those used in Set
1 (the Reference Case) except (1) the flexible culvert was
changed from corrugated steel pipe to corrugated aluminum
pipe (with lower bending and compression stiffness com-
pared to the steel pipe); and (2) the rigid concrete pipe was
made even more rigid by increasing its wall thickness from
0.67 feet to 1.33 feet. The resulting compressibility ratio and
flexibility ratio, along with other lining properties are pre-
sented in Table 9-8.

Results of Analyses—Set 3. Results from the analysis are


shown in Figures 9-28 through 9-30. As indicated, the results
are following the same trend as shown in results from Sets 1
and 2 analysis, even though a much more flexible culvert and Figure 9-26. Embedment effects on culvert maximum
a much more rigid culvert were used in this set of analysis. thrust/hoop forces (parametric analysis—Set 2).

Figure 9-25. Ratios of culvert deformations versus Figure 9-27. Embedment effects on culvert maximum
free-field deformations (parametric analysis—Set 2). bending moments (parametric analysis—Set 2).
124

Table 9-8. Parametric analysis set 3—culvert lining properties.

Rigid Culvert Flexible Culvert


Culvert Properties (Concrete Pipe) Aluminum CMP

Culvert Diameter, ft 10 10
2
Young's Modulus, E/(1-v ), psi 4.0E+06 1.0E+07
4
Moment of Inertia, ft /ft 0.2 0.00001168
2
Sectional Area, ft per ft 1.333 0.01125
2
EI (lb-ft per ft) 1.152E+08 1.682E+04

AE (lb, per ft) 7.678E+08 1.62E+07

Poisson's Ratio 0.3 0.3

Compressibility, C 0.005 0.256

Flexibility Ratio, F 0.060 411.7

Note: Ground condition (firm ground with Em = 3,000 psi, νm = 0.3).

9.6.2.4 Parametric Analysis—Set 4 meric conduits are being used with increasing frequency,
and polymers, especially high density polyethylene, are
Model Assumptions—Set 4. Only one type of lining was
likely to be the material of choice for many drainage appli-
analyzed in this set of analysis. The lining modeled in this
cations in the future. The typical properties of the HDPE
analysis is a 5-foot diameter corrugated HDPE pipe. The
material are presented in Table 9-9. Young’s modulus of
reason for selecting HDPE in this analysis is because poly-
110,000 psi is appropriate for short term loading effects on
HDPE pipe. Poisson’s ratio of HDPE pipe is estimated to be
about 0.45.

Results of Analyses—Set 4. Figures 9-31 through 9-33


present the results of the HDPE culvert analysis. As indi-
cated, the seismic behavior of the HDPE pipe also can be
predicted reasonably well using the analytical procedure
presented in Section 9-5. Like in other cases, if necessary,
some adjustments may be made to correct the overestima-
tion of thrust forces and bending moments when the pipe is
buried at a very shallow depth. For conservative design pur-
poses, however, it is recommended that no force reduction
be made.
Figure 9-28. Ratios of culvert deformations versus
free-field deformations (parametric analysis—Set 3).

Figure 9-29. Embedment effects on culvert maximum Figure 9-30. Embedment effects on culvert maximum
thrust/hoop forces (parametric analysis—Set 3). bending moments (parametric analysis—Set 3).
125

Table 9-9. Parametric analysis set 4—culvert lining properties.

Flexible Culvert
Culvert Properties (Corrugated HDPE)

Culvert Diameter, ft 5
2
Young's Modulus, E/(1-v ), psi 1.1E+05
4
Moment of Inertia, ft per ft 0.0005787
2
Sectional Area, ft per ft 0.0448
2
EI (lb-ft per ft) 9.17E+03

AE (lb, per ft) 7.10E+05

Poisson's Ratio 0.45

Compressibility, C 2.927

Flexibility Ratio, F 94.424

Note: Ground condition (firm ground with Em = 3,000 psi, νm = 0.3).

9.6.2.5 Parametric Analysis—Set 5 and 9-10). However, the soil stiffness has been increased from
Em =3,000 psi (firm ground) to Em = 7,500 psi (very stiff ground).
Model Assumptions—Set 5. In this set of parametric
The entire soil profile was assumed to be homogeneous. The
analysis, the culvert lining properties used are identical to
soil overburden thickness (100-foot thick) and other condi-
those assumed in Set 1 (the Reference Case, refer to Tables 9-2
tions are the same as those in Set 1.

Results of Analyses—Set 5. The calculated compressibil-


ity and flexibility ratios also are included in Table 9-10. Be-
cause of the increased ground stiffness, the flexibility ratio for
the rigid culvert was computed to be 1.217, slightly greater
than 1.0. This suggests that the ovaling stiffness of the ground
is only slightly greater than the ovaling stiffness of the rigid
culvert. Based on the discussions presented in Section 9-4,
when the flexibility ratio is close to 1.0, the ovaling deforma-
tion of the lining should be about the same as that of the sur-
rounding ground.
Results from the FLAC analysis in Figure 9-34 show that
for the rigid culvert the ratio of the culvert deformation to the
Figure 9-31. Ratios of culvert deformations versus ground deformation is very close to 1.0, verifying the validity
free-field deformations (parametric analysis—Set 4).

Figure 9-32. Embedment effects on culvert maximum Figure 9-33. Embedment effects on culvert maximum
thrust/hoop forces (parametric analysis—Set 4). bending moments (parametric analysis—Set 4).
126

Table 9-10. Parametric analysis set 5—very stiff ground condition.

Rigid Culvert Flexible Culvert


Culvert Properties (Concrete Pipe) (Corrugated Steel Pipe)

Culvert Diameter, ft 10 10
2
Young's Modulus, E/(1-v ), psi 4.0E+06 2.9E+07
4
Moment of Inertia, ft /ft 0.025 0.00007256
2
Sectional Area, ft per ft 0.67 0.02

EI (lb-ft2 per ft) 1.44E+07 3.03E+05

AE (lb, per ft) 3.86E+08 8.35E+07

Poisson's Ratio 0.3 0.3

Compressibility, C 0.027 0.127

Flexibility Ratio, F 1.217 57.122

Note: ground condition (very stiff ground with Em = 7,500 psi, νm = 0.3).

of the analytical solutions discussed in Section 9-4. Figures 9-35 • Young’s Modulus, E/(1 − ν2) = 4.0E+06 psi
and 9-36 display similar results (normalized thrust forces and • Poisson’s Ratio, ν = 0.3
bending moments) presented in other parametric analysis cases • Thickness, t = 0.67 ft
even though the ground stiffness was significantly changed • Moment of Inertia, I = 0.025 ft4/ft
(from Em = 3,000 psi to Em = 7,500 psi).
Five sets of parametric analyses have been performed con-
sidering the following combinations of variables: (1) culvert
9.6.2.6 Parametric Analysis—Set 6
sizes; (2) culvert sectional configurations; (3) soil stiffness;
Model Assumptions—Set 6. The parametric analyses dis- and (4) culvert burial depths. Table 9-11 below summarize
cussed thus far focused on the ovaling behavior of culverts. In specific parameters used in each case of analysis.
this section, a series of parametric analysis is performed for the The main purpose of this parametric analysis is to verify
rectangular and square shaped culverts. These culverts are as- that the rectangular flexibility ratio (Frec) developed in Equa-
sumed to be constructed with reinforced concrete. The sizes tion (9-14), Frec = (Gm / Ks)  (w/h), is a proper representa-
and geometry of these concrete box culverts are graphically tion of the relative stiffness between the culvert’s racking
presented in Figure 9-37. stiffness and the ground’s racking stiffness. By using Frec, it
The concrete lining was modeled as continuous beam ele- is possible to accurately estimate the actual racking defor-
ments in the finite difference, soil-structural interaction mation of the culvert as long as the free-field ground defor-
analysis having the following properties: mation (Δfree-field) is known.

Figure 9-34. Ratios of culvert deformations versus Figure 9-35. Embedment effects on culvert maximum
free-field deformations (parametric analysis—Set 5). thrust/hoop forces (parametric analysis—Set 5).
127

analysis. In this FLAC analysis, the culvert structure is in-


cluded in the soil deposit model and subject to the same
pseudo-horizontal acceleration used in the free-field
FLAC analysis mentioned in Step 1 above. Note that since
Δs is related to Δfree-field directly through Rrec, the racking
ratio, the comparison therefore also can be made between
the manually calculated Rrec = [2Frec/(1+Frec)], and Rrec
computed from the FLAC analysis.
4. If the manually estimated racking deformations (or the
Rrec values) are comparable to those computed by the soil-
structure interaction FLAC analysis, then the simplified
procedure developed in Section 9.5.2 can be considered to
Figure 9-36. Embedment effects on culvert maximum be validated.
bending moments (parametric analysis—Set 5).
Results of Analyses—Set 6. Based on the results from
the FLAC analysis (from both the free-field analysis run
The verification procedure is:
and the soil-structure interaction analysis run), the free-
field racking deformations and the actual culvert racking
1. Determine the free-field racking deformation of the
deformations were obtained. Ratios of the culvert to free-
ground (Δfree-field). This was achieved in this analysis by ap-
plying a pseudo-horizontal acceleration in the entire free- field racking deformations are plotted for all five cases (for
field soil deposit in the FLAC analysis. Note that at this five different burial depths in each case) in Figures 9-38
time the FLAC model is a free-field soil deposit model that through 9-42. Based on the data presented in these figures,
does not contain the culvert structure in it. The resulting it appears that burial depth does not have significant influ-
free-field racking deformations then can be directly read ence on the racking deformation ratio for the rectangular
out from the output of the FLAC analysis. type of rigid culverts.
2. Given Δfree-field, the racking deformation of the culvert can In the meantime, the structural racking stiffness (Ks) of the
be manually estimated by using the simple relationship culvert structure in each case was determined by a simple frame
presented in Equation (9-16), Δs = Rrec  Δfree-field. analysis based on the properties of the culvert structure; the re-
3. The manually estimated racking deformation derived sults are presented in Table 9-12. Then the rectangular flexibil-
above then is compared to the actual racking deformation ity ratio (Frec) was calculated using Equation (9-14), and results
of the culvert from the soil-structure interaction FLAC also presented in Table 9-12 for each case.

Figure 9-37. Various concrete box culvert sectional shapes and sizes used in
the parametric analysis—Set 6.
128

Table 9-11. Soil and structure parameters used in the analysis.

Structural Configurations and Soil Properties

Case 1 10’ x 10’ Square Box, in Firm Ground (E m = 3,000 psi, ν m = 0.3)

Case 2 10’ x 10’ Square Box, in Very Stiff Ground (Em = 7,500 psi, ν m = 0.3)

Case 3 10’ x 20’ Rectangular Box, in Firm Ground (Em = 3,000 psi, ν m = 0.3)

Case 4 10’ x 10’ Square 3-Sided, in Very Stiff Ground (Em = 7,500 psi, ν m = 0.3)

Case 5 10’ x 20’ Rectangular 3-Sided, in Very Stiff Ground (Em = 7,500 psi, ν m = 0.3)

Note: For each case, the effects of culvert embedment depth (of 50 feet, 30 feet, 20 feet, 10 feet, and 5 feet, measured from
ground surface to top of the culvert roof) were studied.

The results show that for Case 1 the relative racking stiff- derived in Section 9-5. For Cases 2 through 5, the flexibility
ness of the ground to the structure is about 1.0, suggesting ratios are all greater than 1.0, suggesting that the structure
that the structure would rack in conformance with the free- would deform more than the ground in the free-field, and re-
field racking deformation in the ground. The results pre- sults shown in Figures 9-39 through 9-42 support this theory.
sented in Figure 9-38 show clearly that the FLAC calculated Figure 9-43 plots the racking ratio as a function of the flex-
racking deformations are about the same as the free-field de- ibility ratio based on the results obtained from the FLAC
formations, validating the definition of flexibility ratio (Frec) analysis and then compares them with the recommended

Figure 9-38. Racking ratios from FLAC analysis— Figure 9-40. Racking ratios from FLAC analysis—
Case 1. Case 3.

Figure 9-39. Racking ratios from FLAC analysis— Figure 9-41. Racking ratios from FLAC analysis—
Case 2. Case 4.
129

Figure 9-43. Recommended design racking curve.


Figure 9-42. Racking ratios from FLAC analysis—
Case 5. • For circular culverts and pipes subject to ovaling deforma-
tions, the simplified close-form solutions and procedure
design curve expressed by Equation (9-15), Rrec = [2Frec/ presented in Section 9.5.1 should provide reliable results
(1+Frec)]. The comparison shows reasonably good agreement under general conditions, with the following notes:
between the recommended simple design solution charts and – In selecting the design transient ground deformation pa-
the results obtained from the numerical analyses. rameter for a culvert or pipe constructed at a signifi-
cant depth below the ground surface, PGV is a better
parameter in the deformation-based procedure than the
9.7 Conclusions and
site-adjusted PGA, because PGV can be used directly
Recommendations
for estimating the shearing strain in the ground (Equa-
Simplified seismic analysis procedures for evaluating culvert tion 9-1). Discussions and recommendations on PGV
and pipe structures subjected to transient ground deforma- values developed in Chapter 5 for retaining walls, slopes,
tions induced by ground shaking proposed in this chapter. The and embankment should be used in evaluating the maxi-
analysis procedures use a deformation-based methodology mum free-field shearing strain in Equation (9-1). For cul-
that can provide a more reliable prediction of culvert/pipe per- verts and pipes buried at relatively shallow depths (that is,
formance. The approach focuses on the deformations in the within 50 feet of the ground surface), it is more reasonable
transverse section of the structure (that is, ovaling/racking de- to estimate the free-field shearing strain in the ground
formations) instead of the longitudinal axial/curvature defor- using the earthquake-induced shearing stress divided by
mations, due primarily to the general condition that typical the stiffness of the surrounding ground (Equation 9-2).
culvert structures for transportation applications are of limited – If a more accurate prediction of the maximum free-field
length, and as such it is in general unlikely to develop signifi- shearing strain is required, a more refined free-field site
cant transient axial/curvature deformations along the longitu- response analysis (for example, using the SHAKE com-
dinal direction of the culvert structures. puter program) should be performed.
Based on the results of a series of parametric soil-structure – In using the simplified approach, the no-slip interface
interaction analysis taking various factors into considera- assumption should be used in calculating the maximum
tion, the following conclusions and recommendations are thrust/hoop forces (Tmax based on Equation 9-11) in the
provided: culvert structure for conservative purposes. Results based

Table 9-12. Racking stiffness of culverts and flexibility ratios.

Structural Racking Stiffness Flexibility Ratio


KS (kips/ft) FREC

Case 1 172 0.97

Case 2 172 2.4

Case 3 115 2.9

Case 4 57 7.3

Case 5 43 19.3
130

on the full-slip assumption tend to under-estimate the • For rectangular shape culverts subject to racking deforma-
thrust/hoop forces. tions, the simplified procedure presented in Section 9.5.2
– In using the simplified approach, the full-slip interface should provide reliable results under general conditions,
assumption should be used in calculating the maximum with the following notes:
bending moments (Mmax, based on Equation 9-10) and – A series of parametric analysis was conducted verifying
culvert deformation (ΔDEQ, based on Equation 9-7) that the procedure can provide a reasonable estimate for
because it provides more conservative results than the the culvert racking deformations. To derive the internal
no-slip interface assumption. A flexural type failure forces in the structural elements, a simple frame analy-
mode due to the combined effects of bending moment sis is all that is required (refer to Figure 9-10).
and thrust force must be checked for both rigid and – Based on the results of the parametric analysis, it ap-
flexible culverts. The flexural failure criteria may be pears that burial depth has insignificant effects on the
established using the conventional capacity evaluation culvert racking deformations and therefore no further
procedures for reinforced concrete or metals. modifications to the procedure presented in Section
Based on results from the soil-structure interaction 9.5.2 is necessary.
analysis, the effect of shallow burial depth appears to be • The seismic effects of transient racking/ovaling deforma-
on the safe side, provided that the maximum free-field tions on culverts and pipes must be considered additional
ground shearing strain is calculated at the most critical to the normal load effects from surcharge, pavement, and
elevation (where the maximum ground shearing strain wheel loads, and then compared to the various failure cri-
occurs, rather than the average ground shearing strain teria considered relevant for the type of culvert structure
within the culvert depth profile). in question.
131

CHAPTER 10

Recommendations for Future Work

During completion of the NCHRP 12-70 Project, it be- • Simple but rational methods for estimating site factors at
came apparent that additional work would be required to de- locations should be developed for locations where NEHRP
velop simplified recommendations for the seismic design of site factors may not be appropriate. These locations in-
retaining walls, slopes and embankments, and buried struc- clude deep soil sites located in CEUS, where the frequency
tures. The required work generally occurs in two categories: characteristics of ground motions in combination with the
(1) fundamental research into seismic performance related to depth and shear wave velocity of the soil profile make the
specific issues, and (2) testing of recommended procedures NEHRP factors inaccurate in some situations. Likewise, lo-
described in this Final Report and as set forth in the specifi- cations where thin soil layers (for example, less than 50 feet)
cations and commentaries contained in Volume 2. The fol- occur over rock also may not be adequately modeled by the
lowing discussions summarize some of the topics that will NEHRP site factors.
require further research or evaluation. • An approach for introducing the effects of liquefaction
into ground motion computations is needed. Although
10.1 Ground Motions one-dimensional, nonlinear effective stress computer pro-
and Displacements grams are available, use of these methods is relatively lim-
ited. Either simple ground motion adjustment procedures
Applicable ground motion criteria have been established by
that account for liquefaction should be developed, or easier-
the AASHTO decision to adopt the 1,000-year ground motion
to-use, commercially available, effective stress computer
maps and the NEHRP-type site factors as a basis for seismic de-
programs are needed. In the absence of these methods, it is
sign. This decision on the part of AASHTO resolves many of
difficult to properly account for changes in ground motion
the uncertainties that existed during this Project and should
above sites where liquefaction is predicted.
provide a sufficient basis for the seismic design of retaining
• Revised equations are needed for estimating the site-adjusted
walls, slopes and embankments, and buried structures. The re-
PGA in Equations (5-7) and (5-9) at a predetermined per-
vised Newmark displacement charts given in this Final Report
manent displacement. The current equations cannot be
also provide an up-to-date method of estimating permanent
ground displacements suitable for WUS and CEUS. Height- applied by a designer within a spreadsheet analysis procedure
dependent coherency, or wave scattering, factors also were to estimate limiting PGA values if the displacement (d ) is
introduced in this Final Report, and these will be useful for specified.
• Additional evaluations should be conducted to confirm
seismic design of walls over 20 to 30 feet in height.
The following topics in the areas of ground motions and that the wave scattering factors described in Chapters 6 and
displacement determination appear to warrant either future 7 are applicable for a variety of site, retaining wall, and slope
consideration or development: conditions.

• Maps are needed from the USGS that provide PGV for the
10.2 Retaining Walls
1,000 year return period. These maps would eliminate the
need to use empirical equations based on the 1-second spec- A relatively simple methodology was identified during this
tral ordinates for making the PGV determination and could work for the seismic evaluation of retaining walls. This method-
contribute to simpler estimates of permanent ground ology was based on either M-O equations for cases where
displacements. soil is homogenous behind the retaining structure, or a more
132

generalized limit equilibrium method using conventional slope ect was to assume that the entire mass within the rein-
stability software, for cases involving layered soils. Charts that forcing strips would respond as a rigid mass, and there-
included the effects of soil cohesion on seismic active and pas- fore should be included within the sliding analyses and
sive pressures were developed. A key consideration within the internal stability evaluation. This approach can lead to
methodology was the amount of movement that would develop very large inertial forces, which may not develop be-
or could occur during seismic loading, and how this movement cause of the flexibility of the MSE wall system. As noted
would affect the seismic demand on the retaining wall. in the section on MSE wall design, there are also signif-
A number of retaining wall topics were identified as requir- icant issues regarding the approach used to estimate
ing further evaluation or investigation. These topics fall into two tensile forces in the reinforcement during internal sta-
categories: (1) generic issues and (2) wall-specific issues: bility evaluations, and there is a need to upgrade the
two standard software packages, MSEW and ReSSA,
1. Generic issues, relating to the demand and capacity once a consensus is reached on the approach used to de-
evaluations sign MSE walls. Part of the design issue associated with
• Simplified methods of estimating seismic passive earth MSE walls is how to properly account for the flexibility
pressures, particularly for cases involving cohesion, of the wall system in the method of analysis being used.
should be developed. Rigorous procedures involving the Additional research on the use of the generalized limit
use of log spiral methods are recommended and charts equilibrium approach and evaluation of deformations
showing typical results are provided. However, the log to define wall performance also is needed.
spiral approach to passive pressure determination is not • Nongravity cantilever walls and anchored walls both in-
easily performed, and in the absence of simple log spiral volved a similar question on whether movement of the
methods, the designer is likely to resort to less accurate soil wedge behind the retaining wall will be sufficient to
Coulomb or even Rankine methods of estimating passive allow use of a lower seismic coefficient. For both wall
earth pressures. types the approach being recommended, assumes there
• The potential for shear banding in cohesionless soils lim- is no amplification of ground motions behind the re-
iting the development of seismic active earth pressures taining wall and that the wall will displace enough to sup-
needs to be researched. This idea has been suggested by port using a seismic coefficient in design that has been
Japanese researchers and by some researchers in North reduced by 50 percent. The potential for amplification of
America (for example, R. J. Bathurst and T. M Allen) as forces to values higher than the free-field ground mo-
potentially limiting the development of seismic earth tions is a particular concern for the anchored walls.
pressures. The concept is that failure during seismic The process of pretensioning each anchor to a design
loading will occur along the same failure surface as de- load ties the soil mass together, and though the strands
veloped during static active earth pressure mobilization, or bars used for prestressing can stretch, there is a fun-
rather than changing to some flatter slope angle. This damental question whether the wall-tendon-grouted
mechanism would limit the development of seismic anchor zone can be simplified by eliminating any inter-
active earth pressures to much lower values than cur- action effects.
rently calculated. Unfortunately, the amount of infor- • Whereas soil nail walls appear to be relatively simple in
mation supporting this concept is currently limited, terms of overall seismic design, there are still fundamen-
though it does appear to have some promise. tal questions about the development of internal forces
2. Wall-specific issues within the soil mass during seismic loading. These ques-
• The inertial force associated with the soil mass above tions include whether the internal forces are transferred
the heel of a semi-gravity cantilever wall remains a de- to the nails in the same manner as during static loading.
sign issue. The recommendations in this report assume The AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications also
that the only seismic force that must be considered is needs to be supplemented with specific discussions on
the incremental earth pressure from the active failure the static design of soil nail walls, and then these static
wedge, and that the soil mass above the heel of the wall provisions need to be reviewed relative to provisions
does not provide any additional seismic load to the appropriate for seismic loading.
stem of the wall. Detailed finite element analyses could
help resolve this issue.
10.3 Slopes and Embankments
• Several issues were identified for MSE walls, including
the amount of inertial mass that should be considered The seismic design of slopes and embankments was identi-
for sliding analyses and for the internal design of the re- fied as a more mature area of seismic design, where both sim-
inforcing system. The approach taken during this Proj- plified limit equilibrium and displacement-based approaches
133

are conventionally used to investigate the seismic stability of studies will be required to advance design methods for buried
engineered slopes and natural cut slopes. structures:
The primary topics that require further study area are as
follows: • Methods suggested in Chapter 9 need to be tested on a range
of pipe configurations, ground conditions, and earthquake
• The appropriate liquefaction strength to use when assessing shaking levels to confirm that the recommended approaches
the stability of slopes comprised of or resting on liquefiable for TGD design are practical. Experimental studies involv-
materials needs to be established. A number of issues about ing TGD also are needed to confirm the validity of the nu-
the liquefaction strength remain difficult to quantify, and merical methods being suggested.
these difficulties lead to uncertainty in design. Issues in- • Further guidance needs to be developed for modeling
clude simple methods of estimating the liquefied strength pipeline behavior in conditions where PGD occurs. These
at locations involving sloping ground (that is, where a static developments include appropriate spring constants to
shearing stress is imposed) and appropriate liquefied use in modeling soil-pipe interaction for moving ground
strength values for cohesionless soil where limited defor- conditions.
mations occur. Included within this topic is the potential • The seismic effects of transient racking/ovaling deforma-
for ratcheting movements and how to adequately represent tions on culverts and pipe structures need to be incorpo-
this mechanism. rated into the updated CANDE analysis. It is anticipated
• Stability of rock slopes requires further evaluation. This topic that an option will be required in the CANDE program to
was not addressed during this Project because of the com- allow ground displacement profile as a loading input to the
plexity of the problem. Although a transparent approach CANDE analysis.
does not seem possible, some additional guidance on factors
to consider when conducting a site-specific seismic evalua-
10.5 Need for Confirming Methods
tion would assist designers when they have to deal with rock
slope stability. One clear conclusion from this Project was that various
methods are available to the designer to use for the seismic
design of retaining walls, slopes and embankments, and buried
10.4 Buried Structures
structures. These methods range from simple equations to
The buried structures portion of the Project provided design advanced numerical methods. The focus of this Project has
equations for rigid and flexible culverts and pipelines subjected been to develop simple methods of analysis suitable for use in
to TGD. Guidance also was provided on design considerations AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications. By focusing on
for PGD such as might occur during liquefaction-induced simple methods, a number of simplifying assumptions and
lateral spreading or seismic-induced embankment failures. Sec- approaches had to be taken. Whereas checks and then exam-
tion 12 of the current AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifica- ple problems were completed to test these proposed methods,
tions does not cover seismic response of culverts and pipelines, additional test cases will be required to identify areas where the
and therefore the developments summarized in this report simplifications are not appropriate, are too conservative, or
address a current deficiency in the AASHTO Specifications. lack conservatism. For example, test cases involving advanced
The treatment of buried structures in this Project was numerical methods or experimental centrifuge testing could be
relatively limited in terms of levels of effort, and additional used to confirm the simplified methods.
134

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137

APPENDICES

Appendices to the contractor’s final report for NCHRP Project 12-70, “Seismic Analysis and Design of Retaining Walls, Buried
Structures, Slopes, and Embankments,” are available on the TRB website at http://trb.org/news/blurb_detail.asp?id=9631. The
appendices are the following:

A. Working Plan
B. Design Margin—Seismic Loading of Retaining Walls
C. Response Spectra Developed from the USGS Website
D. PGV Equation—Background Paper
E. Earthquake Records Used in Scattering Analyses
F. Generalized Limit Equilibrium Design Method
G. Nonlinear Wall Backfill Response Analyses
H. Segrestin and Bastick Paper
I. MSE Wall Example for AASHTO ASD and LRFD Specifications
J. Slope Stability Example Problem
K. Nongravity Cantilever Walls
Abbreviations and acronyms used without definitions in TRB publications:
AAAE American Association of Airport Executives
AASHO American Association of State Highway Officials
AASHTO American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
ACI–NA Airports Council International–North America
ACRP Airport Cooperative Research Program
ADA Americans with Disabilities Act
APTA American Public Transportation Association
ASCE American Society of Civil Engineers
ASME American Society of Mechanical Engineers
ASTM American Society for Testing and Materials
ATA Air Transport Association
ATA American Trucking Associations
CTAA Community Transportation Association of America
CTBSSP Commercial Truck and Bus Safety Synthesis Program
DHS Department of Homeland Security
DOE Department of Energy
EPA Environmental Protection Agency
FAA Federal Aviation Administration
FHWA Federal Highway Administration
FMCSA Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
FRA Federal Railroad Administration
FTA Federal Transit Administration
IEEE Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
ISTEA Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991
ITE Institute of Transportation Engineers
NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NASAO National Association of State Aviation Officials
NCFRP National Cooperative Freight Research Program
NCHRP National Cooperative Highway Research Program
NHTSA National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
NTSB National Transportation Safety Board
SAE Society of Automotive Engineers
SAFETEA-LU Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act:
A Legacy for Users (2005)
TCRP Transit Cooperative Research Program
TEA-21 Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (1998)
TRB Transportation Research Board
TSA Transportation Security Administration
U.S.DOT United States Department of Transportation
APPENDIX A

Working Plan

CVO\081750013
Appendix A: Working Plan

This Working Plan summarizes the tasks that will be carried out to complete the Seismic
Design and Analysis of Retaining Walls, Buried Structures, Slopes, and Embankments. The first
section in this Working Plan provides an overview of the philosophy and research work that
will be implemented to meet the goals of the research program. The following sections of
the Working Plan then provide detailed discussions of Project approach. This Working Plan
is based on the CH2M HILL proposal submitted to NCHRP in early November of 2003 with
modifications summarized in Attachment 2 of CH2M HILL’s letter to Dr. Robert Reilly of
the Transportation Research Board dated January 13, 2004.

A.1 Overview of Working Plan


The objective of the NCHRP Project 12-70 (Project) will be to develop analytical methods
and recommended load and resistance factor design (LRFD) specifications for the design of
retaining walls, slopes and embankments, and buried structures. The Specifications will be
consistent with the philosophy and format of the AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications
and the seismic provisions for highway bridges.
A two-phased approach will be taken for this Project: (1) literature reviews and analytical
developments will occur in Phase 1; and (2) LRFD specifications, commentary, and
examples will be prepared in Phase 2. When addressing the buried structure component of
this project, vehicular tunnels will not be included.
The planned approach for the Project will consider the AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design
Specifications requirements which state that “Bridges shall be designed for specified limit
states to achieve the objectives of constructibility, safety, and serviceability, with due regard
to issues of inspectibility, economy, and aesthetics….” In the LRFD design procedure,
margins of safety are incorporated through load (γ) factors and performance (or resistance,
φ) factors. The basic requirement for this Project will be to ensure that factored capacity
exceeds factored load as defined by the following equation for various limit states (or
acceptable performance):

φ RN ≥ ∑ γi Qi

where:
φ = performance factor
Rn = nominal resistance
γI = load factor for load component i
Qi = load effect due to load component i

As cited in the AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications, the various limit states can
correspond to complete failure, or collapse, or less severe occurrences such as excessive

CVO\081750013 A-1
NCHRP 12-70
DRAFT FINAL REPORT
SEISMIC ANALYSIS AND DESIGN OF RETAINING WALLS,
BURIED STRUCTURES, SLOPES, AND EMBANKMENTS

deflection without failure or collapse, which are often called “ultimate or strength limit
states” and “serviceability limit states.” This means that one of the key issues in applying
the LRFD philosophy for the design of retaining structures, slopes and embankments, and
buried structures during this research effort will be to provide clear definition of the limit or
serviceability states that are being presented.
It is anticipated that, at a minimum, the LRFD seismic design specifications for this project
will address the life safety limit state for a relatively large safety level design (i.e., the
2,500-year or future outcome of its reduced return period) earthquake. For this event the
minimum performance goal will be no collapse. Additional limit states, such as a repairable
performance state, and other serviceability limit states for shorter return-period events (i.e.,
functional level earthquake) will be investigated during Phase 1 of this project.
A sound technical basis will be used in addressing the issue of seismic safety and
serviceability within a reliable LRFD framework. The framework will be sufficiently
comprehensive so that the developed methodologies provide a consistent technical basis for
design acceptable to both the more seismically active WUS and CEUS, where large
earthquakes are very infrequent.
An important consideration related to the AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications is that
the Working Plan will need to be consistent with revisions that are currently being made to
the approach originally developed in the NCHRP 12-49 Project. During the NCHRP 12-49
Project, a comprehensive set of draft AASHTO Specifications for the seismic design of
bridges was proposed. The draft specifications were limited to highway bridges and
components that are directly attached to them, such as abutments and wing walls, and
specifically excluded retaining structures, slopes and embankments, and buried structures.
The specifications and commentary proposed by the NCHRP 12-49 Project were not
accepted in their original form and are currently under consideration for revision by the
AASHTO Highway Subcommittee on Bridges and Structures (HSCOBS T-3). The revisions
involve reworking the NCHRP Project 12-49 Report to address issues raised by the
AASHTO committee. These issues include lowering the 2,500-Year Return Period Safety
Level Seismic Demand Definition and various other simplifications. The outcome of this
activity will impact the factored load. Hence, a successful execution of the proposed
NCHRP 12-70 Project, in part, will require integrating future developments from the
ongoing NCHRP 12-49 Project, especially on potential load definitions.
In addressing the objectives of the research project, the basic goals will be to:

• Improve existing or develop new analytical methods to overcome shortcomings of


existing technology, based on sound soil-structure interaction principles

• Optimize design approaches for both routine design practice and special design cases
utilizing more comprehensive methods

• Avoid hidden conservatism in design approaches

• Ensure applicability of specifications to seismic zones nationwide, and provide “no


seismic design” provisions for low seismicity regions

A-2 CVO\081750013
NCHRP 12-70
DRAFT FINAL REPORT
SEISMIC ANALYSIS AND DESIGN OF RETAINING WALLS,
BURIED STRUCTURES, SLOPES, AND EMBANKMENTS

• Satisfy LRFD philosophy and provide flexibility in establishing serviceability criteria


The approach described in this Working Plan will initially focus on the data collection and
review during Task 1, leading to the documentation of problems and knowledge gaps in
Task 2. The Technical Advisory Panel for this Project will play an important supporting role
in defining the problems and knowledge gaps of Task 2 leading to recommendations for
analytical methodology development in Task 3, and the detailed Work Plan of Task 4.
Following report submittal and approval of the Work Plan of Task 5, the approved Work
Plan developed in Task 6 will be implemented. An outline of the LRFD specifications will be
prepared in Task 7, and the results of the analytical developments and LRFD specification
outline will be summarized in Task 8. The submittal of this report will conclude Phase 1 of
the project. Pending the approval of the NCHRP Oversight Panel, Phase 2 of the Project will
be initiated. Phase 2 involves Tasks Orders 9-12, where draft specifications, commentary,
and example problems will be prepared, submitted to the NCHRP Oversight Panel, and
subsequently modified to address Panel comments. The Project will be completed with a
Final Report, including recommended specifications and commentary, and design
examples. This final submittal is scheduled to occur approximately 39 months following
implementation of this Working Plan.

A.2 Working Plan Task Descriptions


This Working Plan will involve eight tasks during Phase 1 and four additional tasks in
Phase 2, with the final four tasks being subject to the approval of the NCHRP. The work that
will be carried out in each of these two phases is described in the following paragraphs.

A.2.1 Phase 1, Task Orders 1-8


Tasks 1-8 will involve the evaluation of current methodologies, identification of their
limitations, development of an approach for addressing the limitations, implementation of
the work plan, and documentation of the work. The primary product from these tasks will
be two reports. The first will identify the work plan required to address the limitations, and
the second will document the results from implementation of the work plan. The second
report will include an outline of the LRFD specifications. This phase of the Project will take
place over an approximately 24-month period.

Task 1. Data Collection and Review


In this task relevant practice, performance data, research findings and information
related to seismic analysis and design of retaining walls, buried structures, slopes
and embankments will be collected, reviewed, and interpreted.
Performance case histories arising from recent major earthquakes in California, Japan,
Turkey and Taiwan will be reviewed and interpreted. Results of this review and these
interpretations will be summarized for use in the Task 5 report. The following reports and
information will be included in this review task:`

• The AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications document the existing AASHTO seismic
design specifications for retaining walls, which largely reflect the use of the Mononobe-
Okabe analysis approach for the calculation of active seismic earth pressures as

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described in Appendix A-11 of the specifications. The appendix is drawn from the ATC-
6 (1981) study for the FHWA. The study is now recognized as having a number of
practical deficiencies that require change, as discussed in Task 2 below. The AASHTO
Specifications do not presently address seismic design specifications for buried
structures or specifications (static and seismic) for slopes and embankments.

• The NCHRP Project 12-49 LRFD Guidelines for the Seismic Design of Highway Bridges is also
particularly relevant to the Project. The HSCOB’s Technical Committee T-3 has been in
discussions with Roy Imbsen of Imbsen and Associates to review and revise the NCHRP
Project 12-49 draft guidelines. Results of any updated will be integrated into the Project
to the extent possible.

• A further publication that is very relevant to analysis methodologies for the Project is the
draft report entitled “Seismic Retrofitting Manual for Highway Structures: Retaining
Structures, Slopes, Tunnels, Culverts and Pavements,” a Multidisciplinary Center for
Earthquake Engineering Research (MCEER)/FHWA publication dated January 11, 2002
(FHWA Contract DTFH61-92-C-00106). This publication is being finalized following a
recent FHWA review and will be published as a final MCEER report in the near future.
Sections of this report on retaining structures, slopes, and culverts will be reviewed and
evaluated in terms of their applicability to the proposed project.

• Another very relevant publication is the FHWA Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering


Reference Manual (1998) that was also the basis for the National Highway Institute
Training Course (NHI Course No. 13239—Module 9). This publication (also published
as FHWA Report SA-97-076) includes sections on slope stability and retaining walls
together with design examples that will also be reviewed and evaluated for use in the
NCHRP 12-70 Project.

• On the subject of seismic slope stability, a recently published document, Recommended


Procedures for Implementation of DMG Special Publication 117, Guidelines for Analyzing and
Mitigating Landslide Hazards in California, a 2002 publication by the Southern California
Earthquake Center, is also relevant to the Project, and will be studied for applicability to
the NCHRP 12-70 Project.

• For wall backfills comprising saturated cohesionless backfills, the 2003 AASHTO LRFD
Interims note that special consideration should be given to address the possibility of soil
liquefaction. One relevant publication is the 1992 U.S. Army Technical Report ITL-92-11,
The Seismic Design of Waterfront Retaining Structures.

• For MSE walls available information includes observational data of wall performance in
the Northridge and Loma Prieta earthquakes, the Kobe earthquake, the Chi-Chi
earthquake, and other recent earthquakes in Japan, Turkey, and elsewhere. Available
data also include numerical analysis and scale model tests performed by Bathurst at the
Royal Military College in Canada.

• Existing and developing LRFD design guidelines for static loading cases will be used to
define the starting point for seismic design. For example, the 1998 FHWA Reference
Manual on Load and Resistance Factor Design (LRFD) for Highway Bridge Substructures used

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in NHI Course 13062 provides relevant information on static design for retaining wall
and culvert design.
In addition to the existing AASHTO guidelines for LRFD design, active research on this
subject is ongoing in the field of retaining structures and will be considered throughout this
task. Contacts will be made with DOTs and FHWA to identify these potential sources of
additional information. This additional information could include Design Guides developed
by individual DOTs.

Task 2. Document Problems and Knowledge Gaps


In this task problems and knowledge gaps in current seismic analysis and design
methods for geotechnical structures will be systematically identified, illustrated,
and documented based on the Task 1 data collection and review.
The identification of these problems and knowledge gaps will be used as a basis for
recommending analytical methodologies for development. The following specific problems
and knowledge gaps will be addressed during this task.

Use of Mononobe-Okabe Approach for Seismic Earth Pressures


Many geotechnical engineers have observed that a large discrepancy exists between how
retaining walls perform during historical earthquakes versus what is predicted by current
analysis procedures. Existing walls are designed for a relatively low static earth pressure
coefficient of 0.3, and yet, with the exception of a few cases of wall damage in historical
earthquakes, they have performed well during large seismic events. This leads to a
prevalent practice to refrain from providing overly high seismic earth pressure
recommendation to structural engineers (such as an earth pressure coefficient higher than
0.5 of the effective overburden pressure), despite the fact that theoretical calculations often
suggest higher seismic earth pressure conditions.
The above observation suggests that a large margin of conservatism exists in current design
analysis procedures. The source of conservatism lies partially within current geotechnical
approaches for predicting earth pressure demand, but might also be due to conservatism in
the structural design code. One of the important components of this task will be to clarify
the various components of conservatism. The knowledge gap pertaining to retaining wall
design procedures is also complicated by the many wall types and earth pressure theories
that must be modified to account for the potential active and passive pressure difference in
response for each wall type. Nevertheless, improvement in earth pressure theories can
provide the basic framework for improving existing practice for designing retaining walls.
Current thinking on simplified seismic design procedures for retaining walls is based on the
use of the Mononobe-Okabe (M-O) seismic earth pressure equations, which form the basis
for existing analysis in the AASHTO Specifications. Representative concerns often cited on
the use of M-O are:

• How to use the M-O equations for a backfill that is predominantly clayey, or for a soil
involving combination of shear strength derived from both c and φ, or where backfill
conditions are non-homogeneous.

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• How to use the M-O equations for sloping ground behind the wall where unrealistically
large seismic active earth pressure coefficient can result.

• How to use the M-O equations when high pseudo-static accelerations cause the M-O
equation to degenerate into an infinite earth pressure.”
Previous editions of the AASHTO Specifications have specifically discussed the M-O
methods and presented equations for making these estimates. These equations have,
however, been found to have significant limitations, as noted above and discussed in the
commentary for the NCHRP Project 12-49 guidelines.
For the case of seismic active earth pressures, the M-O equations are based on the Coulomb
failure wedge assumption and a cohesionless backfill. For high accelerations or for
backslopes, the equations lead to
excessively high pressures that EXHIBIT 1
asymptote to infinity at critical Trial Wedge Method for Determining Critical Earthquake Induced Active Forces
acceleration levels or backslope
angles. For the latter conditions,
no real solutions to the equations
exist implying equilibrium is not
possible. For horizontal backfills,
for example, with a friction angle
in sand of 40°, a wall friction
angle of 20° and a peak
acceleration of 0.4g, the failure
surface angle is 20° to the
horizontal. For a peak
acceleration of 0.84g, the active
pressure becomes infinite,
implying a horizontal failure
surface.
In practical situations,
cohesionless soil is unlikely to be
present for a great distance
behind a wall and encompass the
entire critical failure wedge under
seismic conditions. In some cases,
free-draining cohesionless soil
may only be placed in the static
active wedge (say at a 60° angle) with the remainder of the soil being cohesive embankment
fill (c, φ soil), natural soil or even rock. Under these circumstances, the maximum
earthquake-induced active pressure could be determined using trial wedges as shown in
Exhibit 1, with the strength on the failure planes determined from the strength parameters
for the soils through which the failure plane passes. This approach (in effect the Culmann
method identified for use with non-cohesionless backfill in the 2003 AASHTO LRFD
Interims for static wall design) will provide more realistic estimates of seismic active

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pressure. The above problem becomes further unrealistic in the case of a sloping backfill,
where earthquake active pressures become rapidly infinite for small seismic coefficients and
relatively shallow slope angles, as illustrated in Exhibit 2.

EXHIBIT 2
Effect of Backfill Slope on the Seismic Active Earth Pressure Coefficient using M-O Equations

As noted in the subsequent Task 3 discussion, the solution to the current limitations of the
M-O equations appears to be development of a practical computer program based on the
method slices (as conventionally used for slope stability analyses). With this program
earthquake active earth pressures for generalized and potentially non-homogeneous soil
conditions behind a retaining wall could be computed. The program will also provide a
similar methodology for the computation of passive earth pressures. This case is important
for establishing passive force resistance at the toe of gravity walls and tangent drilled shaft
cantilever walls, for example.

Earthquake Analysis of MSE Walls


MSE walls have, in general, performed very well when subjected to seismic loading.
Furthermore, experience with the design of MSE walls in seismic zones indicates that

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seismic design considerations rarely govern MSE wall design. However, these general
observations are subject to the following qualifications:

• The number of significant earthquakes in which the behavior of MSE walls designed
according to current AASHTO and FHWA standards has been observed is limited to 4
or 5.

• The height of the MSE walls designed according to current AASHTO and FHWA
standards that have been subjected to significant seismic loading is limited to less that 30
to 40 feet.
The limited observational database and limited wall heights for seismic performance of MSE
walls, combined with a general lack of actual monitoring data on the response of MSE walls
subject to earthquake loading, indicate that the seismic performance of MSE walls should
not be taken for granted, particularly as wall heights increase beyond the limit of
observations of seismic performance.
Current methodologies for seismic design of MSE walls are also subject to some serious
limitations, particularly in areas of high seismicity. These limitations include:

• The equation for the wall backfill acceleration coefficient is unsupported by any
observational data and begins to decrease when the acceleration exceeds 0.45g.

• The empirical equation for wall backfill acceleration is independent of wall backfill
height and stiffness; two factors that should, logically, have a significant impact on the
potential for backfill amplification.

• The empirical equation for wall backfill acceleration is independent of the earthquake
ground motion characteristics (predominant frequency, or magnitude and distance),
contrary to current understanding of the response of earth structures to seismic loads.

• The same acceleration coefficient used for global stability is also used for local stability,
even though the wall would be expected to respond to a different (shorter) frequency of
excitation locally (i.e., at the connection between the wall facing and the reinforcement)
than globally.

• Back analysis of the walls that failed in the Chi-Chi earthquake indicates that a “two-
wedge” Rankine analysis is more appropriate for MSE wall design than the single
wedge analysis typically used in practice.

Wall Height Dependent Seismic Coefficient


A sound technical basis for selecting the seismic coefficient to be used in the limiting
equilibrium solution approach, such as the classical M-O method, to develop earth pressure
recommendations is needed. The current practice in selecting the seismic coefficient
assumes rigid body soil backfill response where seismic coefficients are associated with the
ground acceleration.
Exhibit 3 presents some schematic diagrams showing issues pertaining to the wall pressure
seismic coefficient as compared to the reference free-field motion at a point on the ground
surface. For simplicity, a massless retaining wall is used to eliminate the inertial response of

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the retaining wall so that the problem is reduced to a relatively simple problem involving
inertial response of the retained fill acting on the wall. It is clear that the soil mass behind
the retaining wall should be governed by incoherence in the ground motion at different
point of the soil mass. Hence, the acceleration time history response at different points in the
soil mass will be different from each other.
The total force acting when normalized by the soil mass within the domain gives rise to an
equivalent seismic coefficient for wall design. As the retaining wall height increases and the
domain of the soil mass increases in the lateral direction, to an increasing degree the high
frequency content of the ground motion will be eliminated. Hence, it is clear that the seismic
coefficient for earth pressure should be a function of wall height, as well as a function of the
frequency content of the ground motion record. High frequency rich ground motions tend
to be more incoherent and hence imply lower seismic coefficient. Hence, the seismic
coefficient should decrease for low, long-period content CEUS motion records as compared
to WUS, or for rock motion records as opposed to soft soil site records.

EXHIBIT 3
Effect of Spatially Varying Ground Motions to Seismic Coefficient

Earthquake-Induced Slope, Embankment, or Retaining Wall Displacement


Based on Newmark Sliding Block Analyses
As described in both the 2002 MCEER Draft FHWA Seismic Retrofitting Manual and the 2002
SCEC Guidelines for Analyzing and Mitigating Landslide Hazards in California, noted in the
Task 1 discussion, recent practice for the analysis of seismic slope or embankment
performance has been to perform a displacement-based analysis using a Newmark sliding
block approach. This approach was also adopted for the NCHRP Project 12-49 for

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evaluating liquefaction-induced lateral spread displacement at bridge approach fills or


slopes. For the case of seismic retaining walls analysis, the AASHTO LRFD Specifications
recognize that in applying the M-O method for wall limiting equilibrium analyses, peak
ground accelerations can be reduced for walls that can displace laterally. However, such
reductions to be used in design can only be reliably evaluated if earthquake-induced
displacement calculation methods and their sensitivity to earthquake ground motion
characteristics are understood.
Studies have indicated that displacement-based analyses are very sensitive to the frequency
and amplitude characteristics of earthquake acceleration time histories, and to earthquake
duration, together with the earthquake response characteristics of higher walls, slopes or
embankments. Whereas design charts or simplified expressions are available to provide
design guidance, improvements are needed to better reflect the above variables, and to
provide a basis for nationwide application and to use as a screening tool to establish “no
seismic analysis” criteria for less seismic regions and for appropriate serviceability criteria.
A potential approach is described under Task 3.

Seismic Design Needs for Culverts and Underground Pipes


Although buried structures, including culverts, pipelines, and conduits, are covered in the
AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications, there are no specifications for the seismic design
of these facilities. Recent studies have shown that damage to culverts and piping can be
significant, although such damage is typically not extensive or readily observable after
earthquakes. Damage to underground gravity flow structures can remain hidden for many
months to years following an earthquake. Moreover, hidden damage to underground
facilities can result in subsurface erosion, progressive collapse, and undermining of adjacent
highway structures, with serious long-term repercussions for safety and serviceability.
Design specifications and guidance are needed for the effects on culverts and piping of
earthquake-induced permanent and transient ground deformation (PGD and TGD,
respectively). Field investigations have shown that seismic damage to culverts and pipelines
is often related to PGD and ground failure effects. A comprehensive investigation of
damage following the Northridge earthquake has also disclosed extensive damage to
flexible, corrugated metal pipes (CMPs) caused by transient wave effects. Seismic design for
highway culverts and piping will address the effects of PGD and transient wave interaction.

Task 3. Recommend Analytical Methodologies for Development


In this task analytical methodologies potentially suitable for application to seismic
design that address the problems and gaps identified in Task 2 will be recommended.
This task will focus on the identification of analytical methods suitable for engineering
practice. More comprehensive methods that may be appropriate for more complex or major
projects will also be identified and recommended where appropriate. The following
summary identifies potential analytical methodologies and potential recommendations that
will be considered.

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Computer Program for Limiting Equilibrium Earth Pressure Analyses


Using the Method of Slices
A version of an existing computer program for limiting equilibrium analyses for log-spiral
and trial wedge failure surfaces using the method of slices (as shown in Exhibit 4) will serve
as the starting point for addressing shortcomings addressed previously in the area of earth
pressure analyses. The computer program includes the ability for log-spiral and trial wedge
failure surfaces, in non-homogeneous soils, and allows for searching of the critical failure
surfaces. The program was tailored for seismic design applications using both horizontal
and vertical forces. The program can be used for both active and passive earth pressure
problems. The mentioned computer program has been checked against other numerical
solutions (such as FLAC solutions) and also experimental data, and appears to be a good
basis for further development for practical applications.

EXHIBIT 4
Limiting Equilibrium Analysis using the Method of Slices for General Conditions

The computer program identified above appears to be the key to resolution of the historical
dilemma of how to improve on the M-O equations, allowing designers to deal with
generalized c-φ inhomogeneous soil masses, behind retaining walls. Limiting equilibrium
analyses using computer programs for slope stability problems are a mainstay in
geotechnical engineering practice since the inception of the discipline. It is a very natural

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progression that limiting equilibrium solutions progress along the same path for earth
pressure problems.

Earthquake Analysis of MSE Walls


The MSE wall information developed in Task 1, along with data collected from ongoing
AASHTO and NCHRP research projects on static LRFD design of MSE walls and other
retaining structures, will be used to establish recommendations for analytical methodologies
for development. Recommendations will likely include some numerical analysis, calibrated
on the observed performance of MSE walls subject to earthquake loading, to investigate the
influence of the factors considered most important with respect to the seismic response of
MSE walls, including wall height, backfill stiffness, and the characteristics of the earthquake
ground motions. In this respect, analyses will be integrated with studies on wall height
dependent seismic coefficients described below. These analyses will be used to develop an
improved methodology for seismic design of MSE walls, most likely using a two-wedge
model.

Wall Height Dependent Seismic Coefficients


The coefficient (or ratio) to be applied to peak ground acceleration (PGA) for earth pressure
design will be rationalized based on wave propagation principles and at a minimum be a
function of wall height and the frequency content of the expected ground motion. This effect
could be particularly significant for larger wall heights. A procedure developed by EMI for
selection of seismic coefficient by implementing some of the recommendations from Wood’s
findings for dynamic earth pressure will serve as a starting point. This approach involves
examining wavelengths implied in frequency contents of the earthquake record and
comparisons with the minimum required wavelength for exerting synchronized earth
pressure on the retaining wall (see Exhibit 5). Wood concluded that when wavelengths are
longer than 10 times the wall height, the particle motions of the seismic wave along the wall
would be sufficiently in-phase and therefore the resultant earth pressure diagram is more
consistent with pseudo-static design.

EXHIBIT 5
Effects of Seismic Coefficient on Wall Height and Frequency Content of Earthquake

A systematic evaluation of frequency content implied by the height of the retaining wall will
be made as part of this approach. This ratio will be a function of wall height. Separate charts
will be developed for WUS and CEUS. Because of the much lower long period content in

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CEUS earthquakes, there should be a reduction in the PGA ratio for CEUS design
conditions, which ultimately allow much wider conditions for “no analysis” screening for
the Mid-West and East Coast. A series of parametric studies using earthquake records
representative for both WUS and CEUS in accordance with the USGS seismic hazard
mapping project will be performed to develop the ratios to be applied to the PGA value for
pseudo-static solutions for earth pressures. Spectrum-compatible motions for various
spectral curve shapes representative of both WUS and CEUS earthquakes, previously
developed by EMI, will be used as a starting point for this analysis. This set of strong
ground motions appears to be suitable for use during the conduct of parametric study to
develop the design chart for seismic coefficients.
The outlined work plan is intended to yield more realistic seismic earth pressure values that
should close the discrepancy between design analysis procedures versus historical
observations of retaining wall performance. As part of this subtask, the φ and the RI factors
in current LRFD procedures for structural retaining wall design will be reviewed to
determine the potential for refining conservatism in the performance (i.e., capacity) area.

Newmark Sliding Block Displacement Based Design Charts


Existing information on slope and embankment stability will be used as a basis for
developing improved design charts applicable to nationwide seismic hazard conditions.
Different charts for WUS versus CEUS regions will likely be developed.
A starting point for this development will be traditional methods for assessing seismic slope
stability based on factors of safety, as these methods may be sufficient in areas of low
seismicity, and specifically for the “no analysis” case. The general approach is likely to
follow the current state of practice in California (DM117) which calls for minimum static
and pseudo static factors of safety of 1.5 and 1.1, respectively. The pseudo-static analysis is
based on application of seismic coefficient as a constant horizontal load. Instead of
specifying how to select the seismic coefficient, the State of California recommends
following the lead agency practice guidelines. For most transportation projects, the Caltrans
2002 guidelines have been used, which recommend 1/3 of PGA, but no greater than 0.2g.
If the pseudo-static analysis results in a factor of safety lower than 1.1, the project engineer
either employs a Newmark analysis (or other displacement-type analysis method if
acceptable to the lead agency) to determine the magnitude of slope displacement, or designs
appropriate mitigation measures.
Newmark displacements provide an index of probable seismic slope performance. As a
general guideline, a Newmark displacement of less than 10 cm is considered stable; whereas
more than 30 cm is considered unstable from a serviceability standpoint. Several design
charts exist correlating Newmark displacement with the ratio of yield acceleration (which is
defined as the acceleration required to bring the factor of safety to 1.0) to the peak ground
acceleration. Such design charts are discussed in the NCHRP Project 12-49 Report
(Appendix D), where the charts developed by Martin and Qiu (1994) are recommended for
use in liquefaction-induced lateral spread analyses for bridge pile design. These charts
include peak ground velocity as an input parameter, as well as peak ground acceleration.
Newmark sliding block analyses for slopes are also discussed in the 2002 SCEC Landslide
Hazard Guidelines noted in Task 1 discussion.

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Such charts will also be applicable to displacement based retaining wall design, where the
yield acceleration corresponds to wall horizontal limiting equilibrium conditions under
horizontal inertial wall loading and backfill seismic earth pressures. An evaluation of
related wall displacements will provide the means for rational peak ground acceleration
reductions for design for both WUS and CEUS regions, based on approved serviceability
criteria.

Design Approaches for Buried Culverts and Pipelines


Design approaches for buried culverts and pipelines will be identified. The explicit features
that need to be embodied in the design approaches are summarized as follows:

• Permanent Ground Deformation (PGD). Ground failure and PGD effects can be caused
by bearing failure, fault rupture, soil liquefaction, landslides, and consolidation of loose
granular soils. The most pervasive form of bearing failure is associated with excessive
embankment settlement in liquefiable and sensitive soils below embankments.
Liquefaction can also result in lateral expansion of an embankment because of
diminished horizontal shear capacity. Earthquakes can trigger movement or failure of
embankment slopes as well as natural slopes in the vicinity of highway facilities. A
simplified, but comprehensive process for identifying locations with the potential for
ground failure and PGD needs to be developed with which designers can systematically
assess site conditions and decide on the potential for failure and large displacement.

• Transient Ground Deformation (TGD). Transient wave interaction in the longitudinal


direction and transverse cross-section of culverts and piping also needs to be addressed
and design procedures for characterizing wave interaction and checking its attendant
effects developed. Particular attention will be directed to the effects of wave interaction
on joints along the longitudinal axis of the conduit. Methods for characterizing the
effects of vertically propagating shear waves and their interaction across the transverse
cross-section of a conduit require development. Strain-based methods of analysis for this
situation have been proposed and should be explored as a rational basis for design.
The design procedures developed for highway culverts and conduits will be consistent with
procedures for distribution pipelines and larger tunnels. Such consistency is important and
considered a primary feature of a design program to interface with the seismic design of
other types of underground facilities so that a unified approach will emerge that avoids
misinterpretation and disagreements in the future.

Task 4. Prepare Detailed Work Plan


In this task a detailed work plan for full development and validation of the
recommended analytical methodologies arising from Task 3 will be prepared. The
work plan will also include the development of example applications with
parametric studies and comparisons with existing methods.
A minimum of five specific research elements for detailed analysis and design methodology
development will be used – representing priority recommendations approved by the
NCHRP Oversight Panel. The five elements identified in Exhibit 6 will serve as the starting
point for developing the detailed work plan. These elements will be reviewed and
developed further in Task 3, albeit the nature and selection of priority elements could be

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revised following completion of Tasks 1-3 and review by the NCHRP Panel in Task 5. Other
less technical problem areas could be addressed in the specifications with minimum
technical effort, where existing knowledge will be used to prepare specifications and
commentary. Task 6 provides further description of the work plan performance strategy as
requested in Note G of NCHRP’s statement of work.

EXHIBIT 6
Tentative Proposal for Work Product Elements
Type of Investigation Purpose Number of Methods or Concepts

Document Limiting Equilibrium Offer to end users the means for A single computer program is
Computer Program based on Method improved methodology for establishing envisaged for seismic active and
of Slices design seismic earth pressure passive earth pressures
magnitudes

Analyses of MSE Walls Develop revised design methodology A single integrated design method
for MSE walls

Analyses to Develop Design Charts Provide a rational basis for selecting Total of four charts for combination of
for Estimating Seismic Coefficient seismic coefficient as a function of wall soil and rock sites with separate
height for different soil conditions charts for WUS and CEUS
earthquakes

Analyses to Update Design Charts for This design chart will provide end Total of four charts for combination of
Estimating Slope and Wall Movement users the means of estimating slope soil and rock sites with separate
Displacements and wall movements charts for WUS and CEUS
earthquakes

Analyses to Develop Design Provide design guidance and Total of two design approaches, one
Approaches for Permanent and specifications for culverts and one for pipelines
Transient Ground Deformation for
Culverts and Pipelines

Task 5. Report Submittal and Presentation


In Task 5, within 9 months of the contract start, the results of Tasks 1 through 4 will
be documented in a Report.
Following a NCHRP Oversight Panel review of the Report, key members of the project team
will meet with the Panel to discuss the Report and remaining tasks. Following NCHRP
approval of the Report, the approved Task 4 work plan will be implemented in Task 6.

Task 6. Perform Approved Work Plan


In Task 6 the approved work plan will be carried out to develop analytical
methodologies.
The bulk of the work elements for Phase 1 will be conducted in this task. Exhibit 6 lists the
type of work elements that will be involved along with some tentative estimate on the type
and the extent of the research product. However, as noted above, these proposed research/
development work elements will likely be modified in the course of the Project, based upon
further findings from Tasks 1 through 5, and especially after feedback by the NCHRP
Oversight Panel.

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EXHIBIT 7
Work Plan Flow Chart

For each type of research element, the performance in Task 6 is expected to follow several
steps as outlined in the flow chart shown in Exhibit 7. Following the development phase
when the basic development tools are generated (be it a computer program, an analytical
equation, or in the form of a graphical design chart), the developed methodology will go
through a validation phase, where available experimental data will be compared to
solutions from the developed methodology. In this phase, conference calls and, perhaps a
small workshop, where presentations will be made to selected structural and geotechnical
engineers (including Technical Advisory and NCHRP Panel members), will be convened.
This procedure will be used to gain a great deal of insight on whether the overall
methodology is overly conservative or not practical.
Following the validation phase, a parametric study where the method will be applied to a
range of design problems, including analyses for a range of structural configurations, soil
conditions, and seismic loading conditions, will be carried out. One of the objectives of the
parametric study will be to ensure that the proposed methodology is sufficiently robust that
reasonable solutions will be achieved by the methodology. When necessary, presumptive
default design recommendations will be established for designers when the design
procedure becomes unreasonably conservative. Another by-product from the parametric
study includes products that can readily be used to generate: (1) application examples,
(2) examples that can also be used to compare with results from prior existing methods, and

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most importantly, (3) results that can be the basis for establishing screening criteria for
establishing the conditions for a “no seismic analysis” criterion.
Focused conference calls and, perhaps, a small workshop will occur during the course of
Task 6. The conference calls and workshop will present the results of the developed
methodology and receive feedback from participants. NCHRP Oversight Panel members
will be invited to participated in some of these discussions. In addition to outlining the
methodology, information regarding the validation of the proposed methodology will be
presented. Data pertaining to validation will include: (1) verification to available data, and
(2) comparison of the proposed methodology with general observations regarding the
relatively good performance of retaining and buried structures.
The major objectives in the proposed conference calls and possible workshop include:

• Presenting the technical merits in the proposed methodology.

• Demonstrating that the proposed methods are consistent with observations of past
earthquake performance, and are not unnecessarily conservative. As discussed earlier,
identifying the various sources of conservatism in existing practice will be key for
resolution of this issue. Establishing this basic premise is very important for
implementation. Because the overall design process involves both structural engineers,
who are involved with the performance (i.e., the left hand of Equation 1) side, as well as
geotechnical engineers, who are involved with recommendations for the load factors
(i.e., the right hand side of Equation 1) in the LRFD equation, this needs to be resolved in
a forum involving both geotechnical and structural experts.

• Brain storming during the conference calls and possible workshop on the format of the
LRFD specifications.

• Coordinating with other groups of researchers who are currently working on various
relevant LRFD design activities. A partial list includes: (1) the Imbsen team, which is
understood to be currently addressing some of the basic definitions for earthquake loads
and also addressing the basic format of LRFD for seismic design of bridges, (2) the
group addressing LRFD specification for retaining walls, slopes and underground
structures for static load cases, and (3) the group addressing LRFD specifications for
tunnels for the seismic load cases.
During the conference call and possible workshop, skeleton outlines of the proposed LRFD
specifications for the various design elements will be presented. NCHRP Oversight Panel
members, as well as other contributors, will be invited to critique relevant issues, including:

• The definition of the safety level limit state for earthquake loading (i.e., the appropriate
return period).

• The importance of the frequency content to the method of analysis. A general consensus
(from the USGS hazard mapping program) that the frequency content in the ground
motion is different between WUS and CEUS, and ground shaking in the long period
range (i.e., related to peak ground velocity) is much lower in CEUS. Permanent
displacement from Newmark sliding block solutions (which has been used as measure

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of the global seismic stability of both retaining walls and slopes and embankments) is
very sensitive to peak ground velocities. Therefore, it can be concluded that retaining
walls and slope and embankments could perform rather well for CEUS earthquakes
when compared to WUS earthquakes due to a fundamental difference in earthquake
demand at peak ground velocity. This aspect will be considered in an effort to minimize
design analysis effort needed for CEUS. The idea will be documented fully during the
proposed discussions.

• The definition of performance for the safety level limit state.


Other potential definitions of earthquake load levels.

• Ideas for categorizing seismic performance and hazard levels in the specification, in line
with the anticipated LRFD specification for bridge structures, such as categorizing
design requirements based on zones of ground shaking hazard and based on seismic
performance categories.

• Ideas for preliminary screening to identify cases where seismic analysis is not needed.
Design requirements related to static loading (where a higher level serviceability limit
state governs), and the level of ground shaking that can be withstood by the designed
system for the no collapse limit state will be discussed. Understanding this issue will
potentially be the basis of reducing the need for complicated design analyses for many
of the retaining structures, slopes and embankment, and underground structures,
especially for the less hazardous CEUS.

• Ideas for identification of unusual cases, where a higher level of analysis would be
recommended, and resource document to provide some guidance for how to proceed
with special studies.
After reaching consensus from these conference calls and possible workshop discussions,
the parametric studies as discussed in Task 6, which will provide the necessary numerical
tools such as simplifying charts and design examples to be used in developing the design
specifications, will be implemented.

Task 7. Outline LRFD Specification


In this task an annotated outline of LRFD specifications that addresses the
problems and gaps identified in Task 2 and that incorporates the methodologies
developed in Task 6, for the seismic design of retaining walls, buried structures,
slopes, and embankments will be developed.
Where appropriate, the specification outline will be consistent with the NCHRP Project
12-49 specification document (as potentially modified) and address appropriate limit state
and resistance factors for seismic design. The outline will document recommended changes
to the existing Chapter 11, LRFD Specification for Seismic Design of Retaining Structures,
and also recommend a new seismic specification section for Chapter 12 on Buried
Structures. As only limited reference is made in Section 10 of the LRFD specifications to
slopes and embankments, suggestions will also be made on how to integrate recommended
seismic specifications with static LRFD design concepts.

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Task 8. Report Submittal for Tasks 6 and 7


In this task a report documenting the studies and results of Tasks 6 and 7 will be
submitted, and a detailed work plan for full development of recommended
specifications in Phase 2 will be proposed.

A.2.2 Phase 2, Task Orders 9-12


Tasks within Phase 2 involve the preparation of specifications, commentary, and example
problems. These tasks will be initiated following receipt of NCHRP’s notice-to-proceed with
the Phase 2 program.

Task 9. Develop First Draft of Specifications, Commentary, and Example Problems


In this task the first draft of the recommended specifications will be developed. This
draft will be prepared following the Task 8 meeting with the NCHRP Oversight
Panel and following approval of the annotated outline developed in Task 8. A
companion commentary and examples illustrating the application of key features of
the specifications will also be prepared.
The need to address potential impacts, including the need for technology transfer to
minimize difficulties with new analysis concepts and methods (addressed through a
proactive implementation plan) and the need to evaluate and develop a dialog with affected
DOTs on potential cost impacts, will be considered during this task.

Task 10. Submit First Draft Report of the Recommended Specifications


In this task the materials developed in Task 9 will be submitted and a meeting with
the NCHRP Oversight Panel to review and discuss the draft will be held.

Task 11. Prepare Second Draft of the Recommended Specifications and Commentary
In this task the second draft of the recommended specifications and commentary
will be prepared, in accordance with Panel comments on the first draft. Complete
design examples and an analysis of impacts of implementation of the recommended
specifications will also be prepared.
The exact nature of complete design examples will not become clear until the completion of
Phase 1. However, a minimum of 10 examples covering a range of practical cases
encompassing various types of retaining walls, buried structures and slopes and
embankments, will be provided. Emphasis will be placed on examples illustrating the
application of analytical developments accomplished during the project, but will also
illustrate other examples using existing methodologies. Exhibit 8 identifies the list of
examples that will be prepared – subject to any changes that might later be agreed upon
between the Project team and the NCHRP Oversight Panel.

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EXHIBIT 8
Potential Design Examples
AASHTO LRFD Specifications
Example Type Example Chapter
Standard Cantilever
1. Rigid Gravity Walls 11-6
Bin Wall or Crib Lock Wall (optional)
Cantilever Soldier Pile
2. Non Gravity Cantilever Wall 11-7
Retaining Wall on Piles
Soldier Pile with Tieback
3. Anchored Wall 11-8
Soil Nail Wall
Tensar or Hilfiker
4. MSE Wall 11-9
Reinforced Slope (optional)
5. Prefabricated Modular Wall Keystone or Mesa 11-10
Rigid
6. Buried Pipeline 12
Flexible
Rigid
7. Culvert Structure 12
Flexible
8. Cut Slope in Jointed Rock
Cohesionless
9. Cut Slope in Natural Soil Cohesive
Mixed Soil
Cohesionless
10. Compacted Fill Embankment Cohesive
Mixed Soil

In selecting the examples, existing case histories will be used to replicate actual field
conditions as closely as possible. The wall examples will use proposed new analysis
methodologies for seismic earth pressures and illustrate the rationale for displacement-
based serviceability criteria (based on revised Newmark Charts) where appropriate. Each
example will cover a high and low seismic hazard region. The starting point for each seismic
evaluation will be a design based on a static loading case using existing AASHTO LRFD
Specifications. The slope and embankment examples will also have as a starting point an
initial static design and will illustrate a deformation approach to seismic design using
Newmark sliding block design principles. The buried pipeline and culvert structure
examples will be based on a site condition where seismic vulnerability would be of concern.

Task 12. Final Report Submittal and Presentation


In this task a final report describing the entire research effort, including the second
draft recommended specifications and commentary, and design examples, will be
prepared.

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A.3 Management Approach


The technical phases of NCHRP 12-70 Project, as described in Sections 2.1 and 2.2 of this
Working Plan, will utilize the management approach described below.

A.3.1 Management Structure


Management efforts will focus on providing the right technical resources when and where
needed, as well as overall quality assurance and control, and cost and schedule control. Key
staff responsible for management of the project will be Don Anderson, Project Director, and
Jim Siebels, principal-in-charge. These two individuals will be responsible for the overall
delivery of the Project. Throughout this Project, they will seek the advice of the principal
investigators, the Technical Advisory Panel, and the NCHRP Oversight Panel on technical
and administrative requirements and direction of the project.

A.3.2 Management Tools and Processes


The approach used to manage this Working Plan will involve project controls, project
endorsement, quality control, and communications, as summarized below.

• Project Controls: Project control will begin with the development of a detailed plan,
including resources to be applied. Project budgets and schedules will be established, as
well as methods for measuring and reporting progress. An essential element of
management will be measuring work completed against budget expenses. The
procedures used at CH2M HILL are compatible with the reporting requirements of
NCHRP.

• Project Endorsement: At Project inception, a complete set of project instructions will be


prepared and issued to participants. These will outline roles and responsibilities,
communication protocols, schedules, writing and word processing standards, etc.
Linkages between staff hour requirements and technical tasks will be confirmed. Quality
control procedures and responsibilities will be outlined. The project instructions will be
reviewed and discussed at an endorsement meeting. This meeting will be held by
conference call to minimize expenses. One of the key benefits of this endorsement
meeting is that the entire team will understand the importance of each milestone, and
the members of the research team will, as a group, identify any impediments to the
successful completion of the Working Plan.

• Quality Control: Overall quality control will be the responsibility of the Project Director,
Don Anderson. Individual components will be reviewed by the principal investigators
and the Technical Advisory Panel, as the developments become available. The Project
Director will ensure that these reviews are being performed, particularly before delivery
of any information to NCHRP. The Project Director will also determine when to bring
the Technical Advisory Panel into the review process. Quality control will be applied to
budget, schedule, and costs, as well as the technical elements of the work. Procedures
and requirements will follow CH2M HILL’s Transportation Business Group Quality
Management Plan. A copy of this plan can be provided upon request.

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• Website Communications: The research team includes members from a wide geographic
area. Maintaining strong, open communications will be essential to successful, efficient
coordination of project activities. CH2M HILL will develop a project communication
plan to handle all communications, documents, etc. The centerpiece of the
communication plan will be a project management website to serve communication
needs. This website will be hosted by NCHRP. The project website will be secure
(password protected), with access provided to the Project Team, NCHRP, and the
NCHRP Oversight Panel. Reports, data, technical memoranda, etc., will be posted on the
website, with procedures established for QA/QC reviews and comments.

• Research Team Communications: The Project Director, principal-in-charge, and


principal investigators will hold regular meetings or conference calls to discuss progress,
identify impediments, and plan future activities. Conference calls will also be held on a
regular basis for all staff involved with the project, including the Technical Advisory
Panel. These calls will have specific agenda items and offer the opportunity for all staff
to discuss, exchange information, and resolve problems or coordinate activities in real
time, without requiring the expense and time for travel. The NCHRP project manager
will be welcome to participate in these calls. Depending on the content of the calls, the
use of Microsoft NetMeeting will be employed for the purposes of showing graphics,
reviewing a brief presentation, etc.

A.4 Anticipated Research Results


The anticipated research results from the research program described above are
summarized in the following. These results generally consist of reports, specifications,
commentary, and worked examples. When preparing these documents, a key objective will
be to ensure that the documents are suitable for use by DOTs and their consultants and that
the guidance provided is appropriate for both WUS and CEUS.

A.4.1 Products Expected from the Research


The products expected from this research are summarized in Exhibit 9.

EXHIBIT 9
Product Summary
Task & Phase Purpose Considerations
Report to identify problem areas and knowledge gaps,
Phase 1 Report Document Task 1-4 studies including
recommend analytical methodologies for development, and
(Task 5) the data collection and review
propose a detailed work plan
Report to provide
1. Details of the specific analysis and design methodologies
developed, including design charts, related computer
programs, and validation analyses.
Phase 1 Report Document results of approved work 2. Comparison with existing methods of analysis, if
(Task 8) plan studies (Task 6 and 7) applicable.
3. Representative examples of analysis and design for
each of the developed methodologies.
Separate sections will be provided on each of the design
elements including those on retaining walls, slopes and

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EXHIBIT 9
Product Summary
Task & Phase Purpose Considerations
embankment, and buried structure elements. Each section
will include discussions on methods to determine seismic
loading, soil and material strength parameters, and
performance limit states of the design element.
Appendices to the Report will include:
1. Documentation and verification of the computer program
2. Notes from conference call and possible workshop
3. An annotated outline of LRFD specifications,
incorporating the developed analysis and design
methodologies
Document recommended Report to illustrate the applications of key features of the
Phase 2 Draft
specifications, including a companion specifications, and potential impacts.
Report
commentary and examples
Report to include appendices giving design examples and an
Document entire research effort,
analysis of impacts of implementation of the recommended
Phase 2 Final including second draft of the
specifications. The description of the entire research effort
Report recommended specifications and
will include summaries of material documented in the Phase
commentary as an appendix.
1 Report on developed analysis and design methodologies.

A.4.2 Audience for Products


The end users of the products developed in the Project will be primarily geotechnical and
structural engineers in state DOTs and consultants working on transportation projects.

A.4.3 Assessment of Impediments to Successful Implementation


The following are common impediments to implementation of new seismic design
procedures. These impediments will be considered during the completion of this Working
Plan.

• The implied design is too costly.

• The design procedure is too complex or difficult to follow.

• Often, there are conflicting requirements between more seismically active states in the
WUS, particularly in California, and those from less seismically active states in the
CEUS.
The Working Plan will minimize these potential impediments to implementation. In
particular, the Working Plan will ensure consensus that to the extent practical proposed
development products will both be practical and address the needs of user groups in both
the CEUS and the WUS. The basic framework of the LRFD format will provide for
repairable damage states for shorter return periods (a common practice in the WUS) and in
no collapse damage states for longer return periods that are appropriate for the CEUS.

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A.4.4 Activities for Successful Implementation


At the onset of the proposed project, the concepts to promote implementation and to ensure
that the Working Plan is not repeating some of the common mistakes will be discussed with
NCHRP.
It is also important that the activity on NCHRP LRFD specifications for static loading design
be reconciled with this project. Modification of the material resistance factors for the seismic
load case should be based on scientific knowledge of how material behavior changes from
static loading to dynamic earthquake loading. Also, in a typical design process, a design
naturally will start from long-term serviceability as opposed to no collapse for a safety level
earthquake. The design for the static load case will have an inherent reserve that can
withstand some level of earthquake load.
As discussed in this Working Plan, structural experts will participate during the Project to
clarify how this inherent reserve relates to earthquake capacity and the expected earthquake
performance for typical statically designed structures. This will help in clarifying the
interrelationship between static design versus seismic design. Also, consideration will be
given to increasing the range of “no design” requirement to ease the difficulty of
implementation for the end users.

A.4.5 Criteria for Judging Implementation Progress


The primary criterion for judging the progress will be related to the goal of acceptance by
the various DOTs of the proposed technical products and specifications. A key
consideration in this criterion will be communication with the end-users and evaluation of
their feedback.

A.4.6 Leadership in Applying the Research Product


Application of the research products will rest primarily with the state DOTs and consultants
active in transportation projects. Project team members will actively present technical
papers at conferences, workshops and journal publications, describing the application of
research products.

A.5 Applicability of Results to Practice


Throughout this Working Plan discussion, emphasis has been put on making the final
products of this project applicable for practicing engineers from the Midwest and East
Coasts and from DOTs and federal agencies. If this work is successful, then the design
specifications and commentary will routinely be applied during the seismic design of
retaining structures, slopes and embankments, and buried structures. Some of the specific
benefits of this implementation are summarized below.

A.5.1 Improvements in Transportation Practice


Seismic design for retaining walls, slopes and embankments, and buried structures has been
topics of significant diverse opinions among various segments of the practicing profession
(consultants, DOTs, and contractors). Consensus between geotechnical versus structural

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engineers, and active seismic states versus less seismic active states has been difficult to
accomplish, with opinions ranging from no need for designing for earthquake loading to
implementing overly complex procedures.
A major objective in this Working Plan is to develop consensus among the various groups
and to promote improved design practice in the most expeditious manner. The Working
Plan takes advantage of a long history of interaction by the Project Team members with the
FHWA and various DOT personnel. This history has formed a solid knowledge base on the
technical issues that need to be solved. The Working Plan recommends several topics for
development. Some of these have been exposed to state DOTs and have been favorably
received. The analytical developments will be based on sound technical principles, and lead
to significant improvements in transportation practice.

A.5.2 Expected Audience


The expected audience for the results and technical products and specifications from this
Working Plan will primarily be geotechnical and structural engineers in state DOTs and
consultants working on transportation projects.

A.5.3 Practical and Implementable Products


A major element necessary to ensure successful implementation of the Working Plan
involves recognizing development in other ongoing related specifications and development
activities, and also integrating the proposed method with other related activities. In
addition, the Project Team will be active in promoting and soliciting feedback from the end-
users (largely the DOT personnel) over a wide geographical base. Early involvement from
the NCHRP Oversight Panel will ensure that the product meets the practical needs of the
end users and hence, maximizes the chance of expedient acceptance of the proposed
methodologies by practitioners. In addition to what is outlined in this Working Plan
regarding workshops, the Project Team we will also participate in the annual meetings of
the AASHTO Subcommittee on Bridges and Structures and its Technical Committee for
Seismic Design, to solicit feedback from the end-user.

CVO\081750013 A-25
APPENDIX B

Design Margin – Seismic Loading


of Retaining Walls

CVO\081750013
Appendix B: Design Margin – Seismic Design
of Retaining Walls

The purpose of this evaluation is to assess the potential safety margin that exists for
retaining walls designed without consideration of seismic forces. In general, several margins
may be calculated based on the limit state and element investigated. For instance, the
internal forces in a wall may be considered. Alternately overturning and/or sliding
resistance may be considered. For the purposes of this investigation and for the sake of
simplicity, only the internal forces in the wall, itself, are considered.

B.1 Problem Description


The example considered is the lateral force on a non-gravity cantilevered wall, specifically a
soldier pile wall. The focus is on the design moment at the base of the lagging. One wall
height, 25 feet, was considered in the calculation; however, the results are normalized such
that the actual height is irrelevant. No tiebacks were considered. The soil friction angle used
was 30 degrees, because this value produces the common static active-condition lateral force
coefficient of 0.3. No water load was included behind the wall, and there was no live load
surcharge.
For the Mononobe-Okabe (M-O) calculations, the results of Appendix F of the July/Sept
2005 NCHRP 12-70 Quarterly report were used. Only cohesionless soils were considered,
even though the figures in the appendix include cohesion. For the purposes of this study, it
is assumed that the capacity (first yield) of elements provided for the wall is exactly equal to
the demands calculated for the wall. Additionally, the resistance factor for bending has been
set at 1.0 for simplicity; thus the nominal resistance is the same as the factored resistance.

B.2 Conclusion from Analyses


The calculations for this study are attached. The conclusions are as follows.

• If one uses the approach where the static and seismic loads are split into separate
contributions, then a positive margin can be calculated with certain combinations of load
factors (i.e., numerically the wall has some spare capacity for handling seismic loading).
These combinations are described further below. The seismic increment of the lateral
load is taken as 0.5 *ΔKae*γ*H2, which acts at 0.6*H of the wall above the base. The
variables are defined in the attached calculations.

• If one uses the approximation of a uniform combined static and seismic load with its
resultant at H/2, the increased lever arm, which is applied regardless of acceleration
level, consumes the available margin that existed in the static design. This occurs
because the change in lever arm from H/3 to H/2 produces a 50 percent increase in
moment at the base of the wall. This approach is too crude, particularly for small

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accelerations; thus the approach based on treating the seismic increment and static
portions separately were used in this study.

• Consideration of the design load factors is important. Literally, the current AASHTO
LRFD Table 3.4.1-1 requires that a load factor of 1.5 be applied to the static portion of the
load even for the seismic case, Extreme Event I. This is the same permanent load factor
that is used for the basic strength design case, Strength I. Therefore if this 1.5 factor is
required for both the strength and seismic load cases, then numerically there is no
margin left over for the wall to resist seismic loads if seismic load was not directly
considered in the design (Table A of the tables in the attached calculations).

• If on the other hand, load factors of 1.0 are used for both for the static earth pressure and
the seismic increment in Extreme Event I, then this wall could handle a lateral ground
acceleration of 0.12g at the nominal strength level, taken as first yield. (Interpolation of
the Mue/Mu column values in Table B). If the scattering/coherency coefficient were 0.5,
then a nominal site peak ground acceleration (PGA) of 0.24g could be handled without
yielding the wall. If one permitted a ductility demand (Mue/Mu) of say 2, then the wall
could handle about 0.34g acceleration or a site acceleration of 0.68g if the scattering
effect was 0.5. Thus depending on how much scattering and how much inelastic action
was present, the wall could sustain a relatively large PGA and exhibit little or no
outward signs of damage.
Note also that because the wall moments with seismic loading, Mue, are normalized against
the static wall moments, Mu, for assessment of potential margins, the margins calculated are
independent of wall height. Additionally, increasing the soil friction angle to 35 degrees
makes only a small difference in the resulting acceleration levels; so the conclusions are still
approximately the same.
For new design, one would not want to permit inelastic action in walls without making the
potential for inelastic performance very clear to the designer and owner. The problem with
permitting some minor damage (for example a nominal ductility demand of 2) is that
damage may not be inspectable. For instance, a concrete wall would have tension cracks on
the soil side of the wall. Inspectors could not access this side of the wall to inspect it or to
implement repairs. Thus permitting some damage would be a different performance
objective than what is implied in the code currently.

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NCHRP 12-70
Seismic Design of Walls

Calculation of Margin Available for Walls Designed by LRFD Strength Procedures Only

Wall: Assume a soldier pile wall (non-gravity cantilever wall)


Procedure: Calculate the lateral design moment at the base of the lagging / top of the embedded
pile for simplicity. This procedure focuses only on the lateral forces and not on overturning
stability or sliding stability. For consistency, use the active condition Mononobe-Okabe design
charts provided by Earth Mechanics in Appendix F of the July-Sept 2005 Quarterly Progress
Report for the NCHRP 12-70 project.

Soil, Design and Wall Parameters

Soil
Friction Angle (degrees), φ = 30
Unit Weight (kcf), γ = 0.12
No Water Table
Neglect Wall Friction
Lateral Earth Pressure Coefficient, Ka = 0.3
Seismic Lateral Earth Pressure, Kae = Appropriate value from Appendix F figures for lateral
acceleration level, kh (g). Corresponds to total static
plus inertial effects.

LRFD Design Parameters


Controlling Permanent Load Factor, γp = 1.5 LRFD Table 3.4.1-1
Earthquake Load Factor, EQ = 1.0 LRFD Table 3.4.1-1
Resistance Factor, φf = 1.0 (Use 1.0 for simplicity.)

Wall
Height (feet), H = 25

Design Moment at Base (k-ft/ft), Mu = 140.6 ( γp*Ka*γ*(H2/2)*(H/3) )


Service Moment at Base (k-ft/ft), Mser = 93.8 (Ka*γ*(H2/2)*(H/3) )

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Table A

Design Forces Based on γp = 1.5 for the Static Load


Portion

kh Kae ΔKae ΔPae Mue Mue/Mu


No margin for
0.1 0.37 0.07 2.63 180.0 1.28 seismic
load, all values
0.2 0.45 0.15 5.63 225.0 1.60 greater
0.3 0.58 0.28 10.50 298.1 2.12 than 1.0
0.4 0.73 0.43 16.13 382.5 2.72
0.5 1.1 0.8 30.00 590.6 4.20

Table B

Design Forces Based on γp = 1.0 for the Static Load


Portion

kh Kae ΔKae ΔPae Mue Mue/Mu


0.1 0.37 0.07 2.63 133.1 0.95 Mue/Mu is 1.0 for kh
of 0.12 g; thus
0.2 0.45 0.15 5.63 178.1 1.27 margin
0.3 0.58 0.28 10.50 251.3 1.79 exists for accels
0.4 0.73 0.43 16.13 335.6 2.39 less than 0.12 g.
0.5 1.1 0.8 30.00 543.8 3.87

Notes: 1. kh = lateral acceleration coefficient in g's


2. Kae = total static plus earthquake load from Figure F-2
3. Δkae = Kae - Ka
4. ΔPae = 0.5*ΔKae*H2*γ, seismic force on wall
5. Mue = Mu + 0.6*H*ΔPae, total moment at base of wall

B-4 CVO\081750013
APPENDIX C

Response Spectra Developed


from the USGS Website

CVO\081750013
Appendix C: Response Spectra Developed from
the USGS Website

This appendix presents design response spectra that were developed for the Project. These
spectra were developed following the NCHRP 20-07 procedure. The NCHRP 20-07 Project
used a 975-year earthquake, referred to as the 1,000-year earthquake, as the basis for
developing revised AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications. The objective of the work
described in this appendix was to establish the range in the ground motion characteristics
that NCHRP 12-70 Project needed to consider in formulating design guidelines. 1

C.1 USGS Website


At the current stage, the user is expected to use the USGS web site to extract relevant
ground motion hazard data for constructing the AASHTO design response spectrum. The
following link is used to reach the USGS site:
http://earthquake.usgs.gov/hazmaps/products_data/48_States/index.htm
The image below reproduces the computer screen obtained from the above web link.

FIGURE C-1. Probabilistic Hazard Maps and Data from USGS web site.

1 At the time of the Project, the 975-year AASHTO ground motion hazard maps were still being developed by the USGS.
Discussions in this appendix reflect information that was available from the USGS website at the time of the first interim report
prepared for the NCHRP 12-70 Project.

CVO\081750013 C-1
NCHRP 12-70
DRAFT FINAL REPORT
SEISMIC ANALYSIS AND DESIGN OF RETAINING WALLS,
BURIED STRUCTURES, SLOPES, AND EMBANKMENTS

C.2 Response Spectra Development


Most of the options from the USGS web site have been geared toward producing maps and
data for the 500-year (i.e., 10 percent probability of exceedance for 50 years) and the 2,500-
year (i.e., 2 percent probability of exceedance for 50 years) return periods. The only way to
retrieve design information for the 1,000 year return period (i.e., 5 percent probability of
exceedance for 50 years) involved using the interactive deaggregation link on the above
USGS web page.
As shown in Figure C-1, the USGS web link supports analyses for using either the 1996 or
the 2002 seismic hazard modeling procedures (i.e., variations in seismic source model and
attenuation relationships). The NCHRP 20-07 draft report did not clarify whether one
should follow the 1996 or the 2002 USGS hazard mapping procedure. Therefore, a
sensitivity study was conducted for both hazard models in the following sections.
Upon choosing the 1996 or the 2002 modeling option, and after linking into the interactive
deaggregation option, the user can enter the geographic coordinates (i.e., latitude and
longitude) of the project site. The user needs to choose the probability of exceedance levels
from one of the 6 options: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, or 50 percent for exposure duration for 50 years.
These levels of exceedance correspond, respectively, to the following return periods: 4,975,
2,475, 975, 475, 224, and 72 year return periods. Then, the user can specify deaggregation
solutions of spectral acceleration response at one of the seven response periods. These
results are organized into two tables. Three periods of response: (i) 0-sec (i.e., PGA),
(ii) 0.2-sec, and (iii) 1-sec are packaged together in one table if any of these three response
period are requested and, the remaining periods of response: (iv) 0.1-sec, (v) 0.3-sec,
(vi) 0.5-sec, and (vi) 2-sec are packaged together if one of these four periods is specified.
The USGS website would then conduct the probabilistic hazard analysis and return the
solutions in terms of the spectral acceleration level and the deaggregated magnitude and
distance for scenario events corresponding to the specified return period. Table C-1 and
Figure C-2 present typical results obtained from the USGS website from a seismic hazard
analysis conducted for various cities in the United States.
As discussed in this appendix, whereas uniform hazard solutions for the referenced soft
rock (i.e., USGS Category B site condition), can be obtained for 7 periods of response
ranging from 0 seconds (i.e., PGA) to 2 seconds, only two periods (0.2-second and at 1-
second) are used to anchor the spectral curve shape constructed following the proposed
NCHRP 20-07 Project recommendations. 2
The following observations can be made:
(1) Only two periods of response are used from the USGS hazard study, rather than
the full uniform-risk hazard spectrum for constructing the design spectrum. This
approach is taken so that site response effects (which are a very significant factor
in affecting seismic loading) can be incorporated into the design process in a

2 Subsequently, AASHTO adopted a 3-point method of defining the spectrum. The 3-point method included the peak ground
acceleration (PGA) in addition to the two periods recommended by the NCHRP 20-07 Project.

C-2 CVO\081750013
NCHRP 12-70
DRAFT FINAL REPORT
SEISMIC ANALYSIS AND DESIGN OF RETAINING WALLS,
BURIED STRUCTURES, SLOPES, AND EMBANKMENTS

simple manner. The adjustments for local site effects are made by incorporating
site response factors at the short periods (i.e., 0.2 second) and at the long periods
(i.e., 1 second).
(2) Because of the implicit spectral curve shape assumed by the NCHRP 20-07
procedure, there is some inherent limitation in the resultant response spectrum
constructed following the NCHRP 20-07 procedure. The major shortcoming is
that the spectral curve shape is proportional to 1/T at very long periods. This
1/T curve shape corresponds to a constant velocity assumption, which is only
valid to some range of intermediate periods (probably up to may be about
2 second). For the extremely long-period range (say beyond 6 second), a constant
relative displacement is generally recognized to be more appropriate.
This second observation is not necessarily a limiting factor in many situations. The 1/T
curve shape will be inherently conservative when extrapolated to very long periods,
especially when a design is conducted using a displacement-based procedure. The response
periods for most common overcrossing highway bridge structures will be relatively short
and not be affected by the conservative approach being taken. However, for some major
overcrossing structures, such as suspension bridges, it may be necessary to depart from the
1/T curve shape for the very long period of response. In this case project-specific ground
motion hazard studies are usually conducted for such major bridge projects.

CVO\081750013 C-3
NCHRP 12-70
DRAFT FINAL REPORT
SEISMIC ANALYSIS AND DESIGN OF RETAINING WALLS,
BURIED STRUCTURES, SLOPES, AND EMBANKMENTS

TABLE C-1
5% Damped Referenced Uniform-Hazard Spectra from USGS Web Site at 8 Representative Cities

San San Los Los


Period Francisco, Francisco, Angeles, Angeles, Seattle, Salt Lake Salt Lake Memphis, Memphis, Evansville, Evansville, Charleston Charleston New York, New York,
(Second) 96 2002 96 2002 Seattle, 96 2002 City, 96 City, 2002 96 2002 Ill, 96 Ill, 2002 , 96 , 2002 96 2002
0.00 0.6301829 0.6070000 0.5157355 0.5930000 0.4403223 0.4426000 0.4631282 0.4915000 0.3102824 0.3972000 0.1956338 0.2001000 0.3330228 0.4058000 0.1157466 0.1008100
0.10 1.0903976 1.1069000 1.0354738 1.3056000 0.8576376 0.8608000 0.9250220 0.9859000 0.7399701 0.9156000 0.4674985 0.4737000 0.7826341 0.9098000 0.2764427 0.2396000
0.20 1.3953001 1.4313000 1.2732452 1.4048000 0.9694732 0.9847000 1.0723356 1.1386000 0.5912839 0.7460000 0.3950489 0.4071000 0.6148123 0.7128000 0.2200318 0.1843000
0.30 1.4074591 1.3607000 1.1947511 1.3933000 0.8611206 0.8562000 1.0195360 1.0336000 0.4487044 0.5882000 0.3053792 0.3257000 0.4669880 0.5468000 0.1590141 0.1317000
0.50 1.2167480 1.1015000 0.8938485 0.9977000 0.6427900 0.6469000 0.7805473 0.7757000 0.2982502 0.3907000 0.2062726 0.2200000 0.3074246 0.3477000 0.0995696 0.0783800
1.00 0.7507404 0.6863000 0.4720707 0.6712000 0.3139063 0.3284000 0.4064575 0.4330000 0.1580781 0.1908000 0.1130344 0.1126000 0.1611623 0.1584000 0.0481395 0.0376800
2.00 0.3873417 0.3627000 0.2261477 0.2469000 0.1428993 0.1488400 0.1706118 0.1936000 0.0767810 0.0851600 0.0553927 0.0521300 0.0778842 0.0660500 0.0212940 0.0172600
Deag
Magnitude at 7.90 7.85 6.74 7.85 6.76 7.20 7.20 6.99 8.00 7.70 8.00 7.70 7.30 7.30 5.74 7.00
1-Sec

Deag 11.80 11.50 13.40 12.00 4.80 6.97 2.00 1.70 30.60 59.70 165.50 164.20 14.60 23.50 36.10 413.90
Distance (Km)

TABLE C-2
5% Damped Referenced (from above) After Normalized by PGA

San San Los Los


Period Francisco, Francisco, Angeles, Angeles, Seattle, Salt Lake Salt Lake Memphis, Memphis, Evansville, Evansville, Charleston Charleston New York, New York,
(Second) 96 2002 96 2002 Seattle, 96 2002 City, 96 City, 2002 96 2002 Ill, 96 Ill, 2002 , 96 , 2002 96 2002
0.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00
0.10 1.73 1.82 2.01 2.20 1.95 1.94 2.00 2.01 2.38 2.31 2.39 2.37 2.35 2.24 2.39 2.38
0.20 2.21 2.36 2.47 2.37 2.20 2.22 2.32 2.32 1.91 1.88 2.02 2.03 1.85 1.76 1.90 1.83
0.30 2.23 2.24 2.32 2.35 1.96 1.93 2.20 2.10 1.45 1.48 1.56 1.63 1.40 1.35 1.37 1.31
0.50 1.93 1.81 1.73 1.68 1.46 1.46 1.69 1.58 0.96 0.98 1.05 1.10 0.92 0.86 0.86 0.78
1.00 1.19 1.13 0.92 1.13 0.71 0.74 0.88 0.88 0.51 0.48 0.58 0.56 0.48 0.39 0.42 0.37
2.00 0.61 0.60 0.44 0.42 0.32 0.34 0.37 0.39 0.25 0.21 0.28 0.26 0.23 0.16 0.18 0.17

C-4 CVO\081750013
NCHRP 12-70
DRAFT FINAL REPORT
SEISMIC ANALYSIS AND DESIGN OF RETAINING WALLS,
BURIED STRUCTURES, SLOPES, AND EMBANKMENTS

Comparison among Site Class-B spectral shapes f or various Seismological Regions


3.0
San Francisco, 96
San Francisco, 2002
Los A ngeles, 96

2.5 Los A ngeles, 2002


Seattle, 96
Seattle, 2002
Salt Lake City, 96
Salt Lake City, 2002
Spectral Acc Normalized by PGA

2.0 Memphis, 96
Memphis, 2002
Evansville, Ill, 96
Evansville, Ill, 2002
Charleston, 96
1.5
Charleston, 2002
New Y ork, 96
New Y ork, 2002

1.0

0.5

0.0
0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0
Period (Second)

FIGURE C-2. Normalized Spectral Curve Shapes Tabulated in Table C-2

CVO\081750013 C-5
NCHRP 12-70
DRAFT FINAL REPORT
SEISMIC ANALYSIS AND DESIGN OF RETAINING WALLS,
BURIED STRUCTURES, SLOPES, AND EMBANKMENTS

FIGURE C-3. Normalized Spectral Curve Shapes after Allowance for Site Effects

C-6 CVO\081750013
APPENDIX D

PGV Equation – Background Paper

CVO\081750013
Because of copyright restrictions, the following paper could not be included in this
appendix. This reference can be purchased through Science Direct or obtained through a
library service at a university or another organization.

Title: Selection of Ground Motion Time Series and Limits on Scaling


Authors: Jeannie Watson Lamprey and Norman Abrahamson
Publication: Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering
Vol. 26, Issue 5, May 2006, pp. 477-482.

CVO\081750013 D-1
APPENDIX E

Earthquake Records Used in Scattering Analyses

CVO\081750013
Appendix E: Earthquake Records Used in
Scattering Analyses

In Appendix C, the expected design response spectra applicable to various regions in the US
were developed. One of the tasks in the NCHRP 12-70 Project involved developing
representative earthquake time histories for input to various analyses such as wave
scattering and Newmark sliding block analyses. The input ground motions used in these
analyses need to have an appropriate range in spectral shapes to account for potential
variations in seismological and soil conditions across the US.
From the spectral shapes compiled in Figure C-2 of Appendix C, a Soil Site Class E was used
at a San Francisco site to characterize representative ground shaking for an Upper Bound
(UB) ground motion condition. The New York City reference Class B soft rock site spectral
shape was selected for a Lower Bound (LB) ground motion condition. These UB and LB
ground spectral shapes should provide a reasonable bound for evaluating the range of
potential behavior. From the spectral shapes shown in Figure C-3, a Seattle Class B soft rock
site spectral shape was also selected to define an additional ground motion case, referred as
the Mid ground motion condition. This case is representative of typical firmer ground
condition within the WUS, but the Mid case also appears to be reasonable representation of
ground motion characteristics for CEUS soil sites. For example, it can be observed that in
Figure C-3 the proposed Mid spectral curve shape matches the spectral ordinate at 1 second
for the New York City soil site spectrum.
After developing the three normalized spectral shapes (referred to as the UB, LB and Mid
spectral shapes), spectrum-compatible time histories were developed for various future
response analyses. The following steps were involved in developing the input time histories:
(1) Step 1. Selection of the appropriate start-up time histories. The USNRC library of
earthquake records contained in the NUREG/CR-6728 document was used as a starting
point. The USNRC database contains representative strong motion records not only
from WUS but also for the CEUS seismological conditions. Table E-1 summarizes the
startup motions selected from the library of strong motion record for design
recommended in the NUREG/CR-6728 document.
(2) Step 2. Modify the motion for spectrum compatibility. Earth Mechanic’s in-house signal
processing program was used to iteratively adjust the startup motion for spectrum-
compatibility to the respective 5 percent damped target spectrum, followed by baseline
correction. Figures E-1 through E-9 present plots of the resultant spectrum-compatible
time histories.

CVO\081750013 E-1
NCHRP 12-70
DRAFT FINAL REPORT
SEISMIC ANALYSIS AND DESIGN OF RETAINING WALLS,
BURIED STRUCTURES, SLOPES, AND EMBANKMENTS

TABLE E-1
Summary of Startup Motions Based on NUREG/CR-6728 Database

Details of Category of NUREG/CR-


6728 Time Histories Record Name Magnitude Distance (Km)
1992 Cape Mendocino, Shelter Cove Airport 7.1 33.8
LB Spectral Shape CEUS Rock, M >7, D=10-50 Km 1978 Tabas, Dayhook Record 7.4 17.0
1992 Landers, Twentynine Palms # 29 7.3 42.2
1979 Imperial Valley EQ., Superstition Mtn. Camera 6.5 26.0
Mid Spectral Shape WUS Rock, M=6-7, D=10-50 Km 1989 Loma Prieta EQ., Belmont-Envirotech 6.9 49.0
1971 San Fernando EQ., Lake Hughes # 4 6.6 26.0
1940 Imperial Valley, El Centro Array #9 7.0 8.3
UB Spectral Shape WUS Soil, M>7, D=0-10 Km 1992 Erzcian, Turkey 6.9 2.0
1978 Tabas, Iran, Tabas Record 7.4 3.0

E-2 CVO\081750013
NCHRP 12-70
DRAFT FINAL REPORT
SEISMIC ANALYSIS AND DESIGN OF RETAINING WALLS,
BURIED STRUCTURES, SLOPES, AND EMBANKMENTS

20

DIS. (IN) 10 Max= 3.33 in

-10 Min= -1.96 in

-20
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50
20

10 Max= 15.4 in/s


VEL. (IN/S)

-10 Min= -10.1 in/s

-20
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50
1
0.5 Max= 0.89 g
ACC. (g)

0
-0.5 Min= -0.68 g
-1
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50
TIME (SECOND)
0 1 2 3 4 5 6
4 60

5% damping
3.5
Pseduo Acc. Relative Dis. 50

3
SPECTRAL ACCELERATION (g)

RELATIVE DISPLACEMENT (IN)


40
2.5

2 30

1.5
20

10
0.5

0 0
0 1 2 3 4 5 6
PERIOD (SECOND)

FIGURE E-1. Input Motion No. 1 (Cape Mendocino Record) for LB Spectral Shape

CVO\081750013 E-3
NCHRP 12-70
DRAFT FINAL REPORT
SEISMIC ANALYSIS AND DESIGN OF RETAINING WALLS,
BURIED STRUCTURES, SLOPES, AND EMBANKMENTS

20

DIS. (IN) 10 Max= 4.94 in

-10 Min= -2.42 in

-20
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50
20

10 Max= 10 in/s
VEL. (IN/S)

-10 Min= -11.8 in/s

-20
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50
1
0.5 Max= 0.62 g
ACC. (g)

0
-0.5 Min= -0.94 g
-1
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50
TIME (SECOND)
0 1 2 3 4 5 6
4 60

5% damping
3.5
Pseduo Acc. Relative Dis. 50

3
SPECTRAL ACCELERATION (g)

RELATIVE DISPLACEMENT (IN)


40
2.5

2 30

1.5
20

10
0.5

0 0
0 1 2 3 4 5 6
PERIOD (SECOND)

FIGURE E-2. Input Motion No. 2 (Tabas Record) for LB Spectral Shape

E-4 CVO\081750013
NCHRP 12-70
DRAFT FINAL REPORT
SEISMIC ANALYSIS AND DESIGN OF RETAINING WALLS,
BURIED STRUCTURES, SLOPES, AND EMBANKMENTS

20

DIS. (IN) 10 Max= 3 in

-10 Min= -2.57 in

-20
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50
20

10 Max= 15.3 in/s


VEL. (IN/S)

-10 Min= -7.62 in/s

-20
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50
1
0.5 Max= 0.77 g
ACC. (g)

0
-0.5 Min= -0.77 g
-1
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50
TIME (SECOND)
0 1 2 3 4 5 6
4 60

5% damping
3.5
Pseduo Acc. Relative Dis. 50

3
SPECTRAL ACCELERATION (g)

RELATIVE DISPLACEMENT (IN)


40
2.5

2 30

1.5
20

10
0.5

0 0
0 1 2 3 4 5 6
PERIOD (SECOND)

FIGURE E-3. Input Motion No. 3 (Landers Record) for LB Spectral Shape

CVO\081750013 E-5
NCHRP 12-70
DRAFT FINAL REPORT
SEISMIC ANALYSIS AND DESIGN OF RETAINING WALLS,
BURIED STRUCTURES, SLOPES, AND EMBANKMENTS

20

DIS. (IN) 10 Max= 8.6 in

-10 Min= -12 in

-20
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50
40

20 Max= 24.5 in/s


VEL. (IN/S)

-20 Min= -37.1 in/s

-40
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50
1
0.5 Max= 0.81 g
ACC. (g)

0
-0.5 Min= -0.69 g
-1
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50
TIME (SECOND)
0 1 2 3 4 5 6
4 60

5% damping
3.5
Pseduo Acc. Relative Dis. 50

3
SPECTRAL ACCELERATION (g)

RELATIVE DISPLACEMENT (IN)


40
2.5

2 30

1.5
20

10
0.5

0 0
0 1 2 3 4 5 6
PERIOD (SECOND)

FIGURE E-4. Input Motion No. 4 (Imperial Valley EQ Record) for Mid Spectral Shape

E-6 CVO\081750013
NCHRP 12-70
DRAFT FINAL REPORT
SEISMIC ANALYSIS AND DESIGN OF RETAINING WALLS,
BURIED STRUCTURES, SLOPES, AND EMBANKMENTS

20

DIS. (IN) 10 Max= 11.4 in

-10 Min= -10.7 in

-20
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50
40

20 Max= 32.2 in/s


VEL. (IN/S)

-20 Min= -27.3 in/s

-40
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50
1
0.5 Max= 1 g
ACC. (g)

0
-0.5 Min= -0.98 g
-1
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50
TIME (SECOND)
0 1 2 3 4 5 6
4 60

5% damping
3.5
Pseduo Acc. Relative Dis. 50

3
SPECTRAL ACCELERATION (g)

RELATIVE DISPLACEMENT (IN)


40
2.5

2 30

1.5
20

10
0.5

0 0
0 1 2 3 4 5 6
PERIOD (SECOND)

FIGURE E-5. Input Motion No. 5 (Loma Prieta EQ Record) for Mid Spectral Shape

CVO\081750013 E-7
NCHRP 12-70
DRAFT FINAL REPORT
SEISMIC ANALYSIS AND DESIGN OF RETAINING WALLS,
BURIED STRUCTURES, SLOPES, AND EMBANKMENTS

20

DIS. (IN) 10 Max= 10.7 in

-10 Min= -18.8 in

-20
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50
40

20 Max= 36.1 in/s


VEL. (IN/S)

-20 Min= -42.2 in/s

-40
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50
1
0.5 Max= 0.67 g
ACC. (g)

0
-0.5 Min= -0.95 g
-1
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50
TIME (SECOND)
0 1 2 3 4 5 6
4 60

5% damping
3.5
Pseduo Acc. Relative Dis. 50

3
SPECTRAL ACCELERATION (g)

RELATIVE DISPLACEMENT (IN)


40
2.5

2 30

1.5
20

10
0.5

0 0
0 1 2 3 4 5 6
PERIOD (SECOND)

FIGURE E-6. Input Motion No. 6 (San Fernando EQ Record) for Mid Spectral Shape

E-8 CVO\081750013
NCHRP 12-70
DRAFT FINAL REPORT
SEISMIC ANALYSIS AND DESIGN OF RETAINING WALLS,
BURIED STRUCTURES, SLOPES, AND EMBANKMENTS

40

DIS. (IN) 20 Max= 23.6 in

-20 Min= -11.3 in

-40
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40
50
Max= 38.8 in/s
VEL. (IN/S)

Min= -45.7 in/s


-50
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40
1
0.5 Max= 1 g
ACC. (g)

0
-0.5 Min= -1.1 g
-1
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40
TIME (SECOND)
0 1 2 3 4 5 6
4 60

5% damping
3.5
Pseduo Acc. Relative Dis. 50

3
SPECTRAL ACCELERATION (g)

RELATIVE DISPLACEMENT (IN)


40
2.5

2 30

1.5
20

10
0.5

0 0
0 1 2 3 4 5 6
PERIOD (SECOND)

FIGURE E-7. Input Motion No. 7 (Imperial Valley EQ Record) for UB Spectral Shape

CVO\081750013 E-9
NCHRP 12-70
DRAFT FINAL REPORT
SEISMIC ANALYSIS AND DESIGN OF RETAINING WALLS,
BURIED STRUCTURES, SLOPES, AND EMBANKMENTS

40

DIS. (IN) 20 Max= 23.8 in

-20 Min= -12.6 in

-40
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40
50
Max= 46.7 in/s
VEL. (IN/S)

Min= -53.1 in/s


-50
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40
1
0.5 Max= 1.1 g
ACC. (g)

0
-0.5 Min= -1.1 g
-1
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40
TIME (SECOND)
0 1 2 3 4 5 6
4 60

5% damping
3.5
Pseduo Acc. Relative Dis. 50

3
SPECTRAL ACCELERATION (g)

RELATIVE DISPLACEMENT (IN)


40
2.5

2 30

1.5
20

10
0.5

0 0
0 1 2 3 4 5 6
PERIOD (SECOND)

FIGURE E-8. Input Motion No. 8 (Turkey EQ Record) for UB Spectral Shape

E-10 CVO\081750013
NCHRP 12-70
DRAFT FINAL REPORT
SEISMIC ANALYSIS AND DESIGN OF RETAINING WALLS,
BURIED STRUCTURES, SLOPES, AND EMBANKMENTS

FIGURE E-9. Input Motion No. 9 (Tabas EQ Record) for UB Spectral Shape

CVO\081750013 E-11
APPENDIX F

Generalized Limit Equilibrium Design Method

CVO\081750013
Appendix F: Generalized Limit Equilibrium
Design Method

The following examples demonstrate the application of generalized limit equilibrium


procedure proposed in Chapter 4 in design of conventional cantilevered retaining walls. The
examples show the application of limit equilibrium slope stability program SLIDE in
computing the seismic lateral earth pressures. In addition, a displacement-based seismic
design methodology has been adopted in order to reduce the seismic pressures on the
retaining wall, as permitted by AASHTO 11.6.5 article. This procedure uses PGV and
Newmark displacement correlations developed in Chapter 5, as well as height-dependent
peak acceleration reduction factors established in Chapter 6. The following examples are not
intended to provide a complete design for the walls; rather they demonstrate the application
of procedures discussed in Chapters 5 to 7 in practical design situations.

F.1 Methodology
Cantilever retaining walls must to be designed for static and seismic conditions. Using the
Allowable Stress Design (ASD) method for static loading conditions, the minimum factors
of safety with respect to sliding, overturning, and bearing capacity are assumed as 1.5, 2 and
3, respectively.
If LRFD Specifications are used, the wall needs to be checked for the following load
combinations:
1. Service limit states:
ƒ Global stability,
ƒ Horizontal and lateral deformation.
2. Strength limit states:
ƒ Bearing resistance failure,
ƒ Lateral Sliding,
ƒ Excessive loss of base contact,
ƒ Structural failure.
The basic approach involves computing the yield acceleration using the Service I limit state
load combination. The resulting earth pressure (the earth pressure corresponding to yield
acceleration) should then be used in Extreme I limit state to check for bearing resistance,
excessive loss of base contact, and structural failure. However, a wall designed using an
allowable displacement criterion might not satisfy the lateral sliding criteria in Extreme I
limit state, due to load factors incorporated for earth pressure.
Here for simplicity the ASD method calculations have been shown. The LRFD calculation
for earth pressure, yield acceleration, and permanent displacement should be carried out
using Service I limit state and are almost identical to ASD. Instead of checking for the

CVO\081750013 F-1
NCHRP 12-70
DRAFT FINAL REPORT
SEISMIC ANALYSIS AND DESIGN OF RETAINING WALLS,
BURIED STRUCTURES, SLOPES, AND EMBANKMENTS

minimum overturning, sliding, and bearing capacity safety factors, the wall must provide a
Capacity to Demand Ratio (C/D) of over 1.0 for lateral sliding, eccentricity, and bearing
resistance in Strength I and Extreme Event I limit states.

F.2 Static and Seismic Design of a Cantilever Retaining Wall


with 10 Degrees Backslope
The geometry of the proposed wall is shown on Figure F-1. The native soil comprises
cohesive soil with a friction angle of 20° and cohesion of 835 pounds per square foot (psf).
The native ground will be excavated at a temporary slope of 1H to 1V, as shown on the
following figure, and the wall will be backfilled with granular material with a residual
internal friction angle of 30° and unit weight of 114.5 pounds per cubic foot (pcf). A backfill
slope of 10° will be incorporated in order to reduce the height of the wall. The water table is
at least 12 feet below the footing of the wall. The friction angle and cohesion between the
footing and the soil are estimated to be in the range of two-thirds of their respective values
for the foundation soil.
The site is located in a seismically active zone, and the peak ground acceleration (PGA) is
estimated to be 0.5g. The design spectral acceleration at 1 second period for the site is 0.4g.

F.2.1 Active Earth Pressure


The active earth pressure was calculated for static conditions, as well as for horizontal
earthquake acceleration coefficients between 0.1 and 0.5. A limit equilibrium slope stability
approach, using the program SLIDE, was used to evaluate the active pressure on the wall.
For comparison purposes, the active pressures were also calculated using the Mononobe-
Okabe method.
The forces acting on the wall and design assumptions are demonstrated on Figure F-2. To
simplify calculations, the passive force is assumed to act horizontally (Rankine theory)
which is a conservative assumption, and the effect of seismic inertial loading on passive
pressures is neglected.
Figure F-3 shows the limit equilibrium slope stability model (SLIDE model) used in the
evaluation of active forces on the wall. The limit equilibrium model includes the
unsupported slope and the wall reaction (EAE on Figure F-2). The actual geometry of the
wall is not needed to be modeled; therefore, the slope stability model is relatively simple
and can be set in a short time. The location of the wall reaction on the active wedge is
assumed to be one-third of the height from bottom for static conditions, and one half of the
height for seismic cases. Depending on the slope stability method used in the analysis, the
location of the force may or may not affect the results.
The wall reaction force on the unsupported slope is modified by the user until a factor of
safety of 1.0 is achieved. Usually this can be accomplished by a few trials in a reasonable
time. The reaction force corresponding to the factor of safety of 1 is equal to the active
pressure on the wall.

F-2 CVO\081750013
NCHRP 12-70
DRAFT FINAL REPORT
SEISMIC ANALYSIS AND DESIGN OF RETAINING WALLS,
BURIED STRUCTURES, SLOPES, AND EMBANKMENTS

37.0'

1.5'
1.6'
10.0°

Backfill
φ = 30°
c=0
19.7'
γ = 114.5 pcf

Natural Ground
φ = 20°
c = 835 psf
γ = 120.8 pcf
45.0°
4.9'

2.3'

2.3' 8.5'
2.3'

Problem Geometry
Source: B. M. DAS
Principles of Foundation
Engineering, 4th Ed.
Example 7.1

FIGURE F-1. Geometry of the Retaining Wall and Soil Properties

EAE (k)
30.0°
k.WS

k.WW

WS
WW
45.0°

PPE
Sr (k)

N (k)

FIGURE F-2. Force Diagram for the Cantilever Retaining Wall

CVO\081750013 F-3
NCHRP 12-70
DRAFT FINAL REPORT
SEISMIC ANALYSIS AND DESIGN OF RETAINING WALLS,
BURIED STRUCTURES, SLOPES, AND EMBANKMENTS

0.998 ACTIVE FORCE CALCULATION FOR RETAINING WALL WITH 10 DEGREES BACKSLOPE
0.5
40

Analysis Method: spencer


Min. F.S.: 0.998
30

Material: backfill
Unit Weight: 114.5 lb/ft3
20

Cohesion: 0 psf
Friction Angle: 30 degrees

Material: native soil


Unit Weight: 120.8 lb/ft3
10

Cohesion: 835 psf


28850.00 lb/ft
Friction Angle: 20 degrees
0 ft

-10 ft 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70

FIGURE F-3. Limit Equilibrium Slope Stability Model (Slide Program)

The active force calculated from this model depends on the method used for limit
equilibrium analysis (e.g. Spencer, Janbu, or Bishop Methods). The Spencer method
generally returns the most accurate results and has been used here for calculations. It is
recommended that the designer check the internal forces acting on the active wedge after
the slope stability analysis and ensure that the design assumptions are implemented
correctly by the program.

F.2.2 Active Pressure Forces


Table F.1 shows the calculated active forces from the limit equilibrium model of Figure F-3.
For comparison, the active forces calculated using Mononobe-Okabe equation are shown in
the table. The results indicate that for static conditions, active forces calculated from SLIDE
model are practically identical to Mononobe-Okabe equation. For the seismic condition,
however, the calculated forces start to deviate, with the limit equilibrium model consistently
resulting in lower active pressures.
The active forces from two methods are compared graphically on Figure F-4. The
Mononobe-Okabe equation fails to calculate the active pressure for a seismic coefficient of
0.4 and above, because it is not physically possible to maintain the equilibrium of forces for
a homogeneous backfill sloping at 10 degrees for such a high seismic coefficient. The limit
equilibrium model, however, is capable of calculating the active force for seismic coefficients
up to 0.5, because the failure plane stays within the weaker backfill material.

F-4 CVO\081750013
NCHRP 12-70
DRAFT FINAL REPORT
SEISMIC ANALYSIS AND DESIGN OF RETAINING WALLS,
BURIED STRUCTURES, SLOPES, AND EMBANKMENTS

TABLE F.1
Active Force Calculation Results for Wall with 10° Back Slope
Limit Equilibrium Active Mononobe-Okabe
Seismic Coefficient kh Force Active Force

(lbs/ft) (lbs/ft)

0 (static condition) 10,850 10,831

0.1 13,700 14,115

0.2 17,500 19,070

0.3 21,250 28,161

0.4 25,050 n/a

0.5 28,850 n/a

35,000

30,000
Active Force (lbs/ft)

25,000

20,000 Slide
15,000 M-O

10,000

5,000

0
0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5
Seismic Coefficient, kh (g)

FIGURE F-4. Comparison between Active Force from SLIDE and Mononobe-Okabe Equation

Figure F-5 compares the failure planes calculated by SLIDE and Mononobe-Okabe method
for a seismic coefficient of 0.2. The figure demonstrates that Mononobe-Okabe method
overestimates the driving force of the active wedge (by extending the back slope), and at the
same time underestimates the resisting force along the failure plane by using the weaker
material properties of the backfill for the entire soil behind the wall.

CVO\081750013 F-5
NCHRP 12-70
DRAFT FINAL REPORT
SEISMIC ANALYSIS AND DESIGN OF RETAINING WALLS,
BURIED STRUCTURES, SLOPES, AND EMBANKMENTS

Slide Failure Plane


Mononobe-Okabe
Failure Plane
EAE 30.0°

26.0° Seismic Coefficient = 0.2


45.0°

FIGURE F-5. Comparison between Failure Planes of SLIDE and Mononobe-Okabe for kh = 0.2

F.2.3 Passive Pressure


Some designers prefer to totally ignore the passive pressures on the toe side of the wall. The
reason for ignoring the passive pressure is that the soil around the toe area, unlike the
backfill, might not be compacted enough, so the actual passive force might be considerably
lower than predicted values. The AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications (3rd edition,
2004) summarizes the agency’s policy regarding passive pressure in Article 11.6.3.5 as
follows:
“Passive resistance shall be neglected in stability computations, unless the base of the wall
extends below the depth of maximum scour, freeze-thaw or other disturbances. In the latter
case, only the embedment below the greater of these depths shall be considered effective.
Where passive resistance is utilized to ensure adequate wall stability, the calculated passive
resistance of soil in front of abutments and conventional walls shall be sufficient to prevent
unacceptable forward movement of the wall.
The passive resistance shall be neglected if the soil providing passive resistance is, or likely to
become soft, loose, or disturbed, or if the contact between the soil and wall is not tight.”
For a displacement-based design methodology, the realistic estimation of passive forces is
more important, because the sliding factor of safety and resulting yield acceleration is
directly affected by passive pressure assumptions. The passive pressure is less significant
for the overturning factor of safety, because its resultant is usually very close to the toe of
the wall and does not result in large moments about the toe.
The passive pressure (PPE component on Figure F-2) was calculated using the Rankine Earth
Pressure Theory for cohesive soils. Using this theory, the passive earth pressure at depth z is
calculated from the following equations:

F-6 CVO\081750013
NCHRP 12-70
DRAFT FINAL REPORT
SEISMIC ANALYSIS AND DESIGN OF RETAINING WALLS,
BURIED STRUCTURES, SLOPES, AND EMBANKMENTS

Pp = Kp γ z + 2c √ Kp (F.1)

Kp = tan2 (45 - φ/2) (F.2)


The above equations result in earth pressure diagram of Figure F-6. Only the portion of the
passive pressure acting on the footing slab is considered in the stability evaluation of the
wall.

2c KP

neglected
D

KPγD

FIGURE F-6. Passive Earth Pressure Diagram from Rankine Theory

F.2.4 Wall Stability Assessment


A spreadsheet in Excel was used to evaluate the factors of safety against sliding and
overturning, as well as bearing capacity of the footing. Active pressures calculated using the
SLIDE program along with passive pressures from Rankine theory were used to evaluate
the factors of safety. The calculations were carried out for the static case, as well as five
pseudo-static cases with horizontal seismic coefficient between 0.1 and 0.5. In order to
demonstrate the significance of including the passive pressure in the calculations, the results
are reported for both cases, with and without passive pressure.
Based on these calculations, for static loading conditions the proposed retaining wall has
factors of safety of 2.49, 4.19 and 7.57 against sliding, overturning, and bearing capacity,
respectively. These factors of safety are greater than minimum required values of 1.5, 2.0
and 3.0 for sliding, overturning and bearing capacity; therefore the proposed design satisfies
the requirements for static stability.

CVO\081750013 F-7
NCHRP 12-70
DRAFT FINAL REPORT
SEISMIC ANALYSIS AND DESIGN OF RETAINING WALLS,
BURIED STRUCTURES, SLOPES, AND EMBANKMENTS

F.2.4.1 Yield Acceleration


Figure F-7 presents the variation of sliding factor of safety versus horizontal seismic
acceleration. Using this figure, the yield acceleration coefficient (ky) corresponding to factor
of safety of 1.0 was determined to be 0.26.

3.00 0 0.26 0.13


1 0.26 0.13
2.50

2.00
Sliding F.S.

1.50

1.00

0.50
ky=0.26
0.00
0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5
Kh (g)

FIGURE F-7. Sliding Factor of Safety vs. Horizontal Seismic Acceleration

The factors of safety against overturning, corresponding to seismic acceleration coefficient of


0.26 was estimated to be 1.41 (based on linear interpolation between kh = 0.2 and 0.3 values).
Also, the factor of safety against foundation bearing failure corresponding to seismic
acceleration coefficient of 0.26 was estimated to be 1.20, based on linear interpolation. Based
on these values, during the design seismic event the retaining wall will slide, before
overturning or foundation bearing modes of failure are reached. Therefore the retaining
wall satisfies the displacement-based design requirements.

F.2.4.2 Earthquake-Induced Permanent Displacement


The first step in evaluation of permanent displacement is to determine the peak average
acceleration in sliding block (kmax) for the proposed wall condition. Based on studies in
Chapter 7 and Appendix C, kmax can be estimated from the following parameters:
kmax = Fpga PGA = 0.5
Fv S1 = 0.4

β = Fv S1/ kmax = 0.8


Wall height (h) ≈ 23 feet
Vs = 1312 ft/sec

F-8 CVO\081750013
NCHRP 12-70
DRAFT FINAL REPORT
SEISMIC ANALYSIS AND DESIGN OF RETAINING WALLS,
BURIED STRUCTURES, SLOPES, AND EMBANKMENTS

Since β = 0.8, the seismic design criteria for the site corresponds to the average between mid
level (β = 1.5) and lower bound (β = 0.5) design spectra. Using Figure 7-16 and the
procedure described in Paragraph 7.5, the α factor for the wall is determined to be 0.86,
resulting in a kav equal to 0.86×0.5 = 0.43.
The peak ground velocity (PGV) for the site can be evaluated from the PGV-S1 correlation in
Chapter 5. Using the mean plus one standard deviation correlation, PGV is estimated to be
22 in/sec.
Permanent seismic displacement can be evaluated using the Newmark correlations obtained
in Chapter 5. The correlation for WUS and CEUS-Soil sites is appropriate for this retaining
wall and is shown below:
log (d) -1.51 – 0.74 log(ky/kmax) + 3.27 log (1- ky/kmax) – 0.80 log(kmax) +
1.59 log (PGV)
Because of the height of the wall, kmax in the equation is replaced by kav to account for wave
scattering effects. The following parameters were used to evaluate the displacement:
kav = α kmax = 0.43

ky / kmax = 0.26/ 0.43 = 0.60


PGV = 21.8 in/sec
Using these parameters and above equation, the mean earthquake-induced displacement
was estimated to be in the range of 0.6 inch. The mean plus one standard deviation
(84 percent confidence level) displacement is about two times mean value, or 1.2 inch. These
displacements are negligible and the wall design would be judged as acceptable.
Using the above parameters, the displacement correlation given in the current AASHTO
Specifications would result in a displacement on the order of 2 inches.

F.3 Static and Seismic Design of a Cantilever Retaining Wall


with 2H to 1V Back Slope
The proposed wall geometry is identical to Figure F-1, except the back slope angle which is
2H to 1V (horizontal to vertical) instead of 10 degrees. The new geometry is shown on
Figure F-9. The soil properties for the foundation and backfill are identical to the previous
example.

F.3.1 Active Pressure


The same methodology as Example 1 was used to evaluate the static and seismic active
pressures on the retaining wall. The results are shown in Table F.2. The Mononobe-Okabe
equation gives practically identical results for static case, but fails to calculate the seismic

CVO\081750013 F-9
NCHRP 12-70
DRAFT FINAL REPORT
SEISMIC ANALYSIS AND DESIGN OF RETAINING WALLS,
BURIED STRUCTURES, SLOPES, AND EMBANKMENTS

1
2

26.6°
1.6'
4.3'

φ = 30°
c=0
γ = 114.5 pcf
19.7'

φ = 20°
2.3' 45.0° c = 835 psf
4.9' γ = 120.8 pcf

2.3' 8.5'
2.3'
13.1'

FIGURE F-9. Proposed Geometry and Soil Properties of the Retaining Wall

active pressures (tends to infinity) due to the increased slope angle and simplifying
assumptions with respect to slope geometry and backfill properties inherent in this method.

TABLE F.2
Active Force Calculation Results for Wall with 2:1 Back Slope
Limit Equilibrium Active Mononobe-Okabe
Force Active Force
Seismic Coefficient kh (lbs/ft) (lbs/ft)
0 (static condition) 21,200 21,603
0.1 28,900 n/a
0.2 36,600 n/a
0.3 44,350 n/a
0.4 52,300 n/a
0.5 75,500 n/a

F-10 CVO\081750013
NCHRP 12-70
DRAFT FINAL REPORT
SEISMIC ANALYSIS AND DESIGN OF RETAINING WALLS,
BURIED STRUCTURES, SLOPES, AND EMBANKMENTS

F.3.2 Wall Stability Assessment


By utilizing the spreadsheet for wall stability and the active forces form Table F.2, the factors
of safety against sliding, overturning, and foundation bearing failure were determined to be
1.12, 1.64 and 1.73, respectively. The factors of safety against sliding, overturning, and
foundation bearing failure are smaller than minimum required values of 1.5, 2.0, and 3.0,
respectively; therefore, the proposed design does not satisfy the requirements for static
stability and the wall dimensions must be revised.

F.3.2.1 Revised Wall Geometry


The revised wall geometry is shown on Figure F-10. A shear key has been added in order to
increase the resisting force against sliding. Also, the foundation width is increased from 13.1
feet to 16.5 feet. The extra width is utilized in the toe side of the wall in order to reduce the
bearing pressures and achieve more uniform stress distribution below the footing for static
condition. The extra width will also contribute to the resisting force against sliding, due to
cohesive material in the foundation. The active forces on the revised wall geometry are
identical to the original case.
The stability analyses for static condition resulted in factors of safety of 1.70, 3.33, and 6.97
against sliding, overturning, and bearing failure, respectively. These factors of safety are
greater than minimum required values of 1.5, 2.0, and 3.0 for sliding, overturning, and
bearing failure; therefore, the revised geometry satisfies the requirements for static stability.

F.3.2.2 Yield Acceleration


Figure F-11 shows the variation of sliding factor of safety versus horizontal seismic
acceleration. Using this figure, the yield acceleration (ky) corresponding to factor of safety of
1.0 was determined to be 0.15.
The factors of safety against overturning, corresponding to seismic acceleration coefficient of
0.15 was estimated to be 1.73 (based on linear interpolation between kh = 0.1 and 0.2 values).
Also, the factor of safety against foundation bearing failure corresponding to a seismic
acceleration of 0.15 was estimated to be 1.76, based on linear interpolation. Based on these
values, during the design seismic event the retaining wall will slide, before overturning or
foundation bearing modes of failure are reached. Therefore the retaining wall satisfies the
displacement-based design requirements.

CVO\081750013 F-11
NCHRP 12-70
DRAFT FINAL REPORT
SEISMIC ANALYSIS AND DESIGN OF RETAINING WALLS,
BURIED STRUCTURES, SLOPES, AND EMBANKMENTS

1
2

26.6°
1.6'
4.3'

φ = 30°
c=0
γ = 114.5 pcf
19.7'

φ = 20°
2.3' 45.0° c = 835 psf
4.9' γ = 120.8 pcf
1.1'

5.7' 8.5'
2.3'

16.5'

FIGURE F-10. Revised Geometry for Retaining Wall of Example 2

1.80 0 0.15 0.02


1 0.15 0.02
1.60
1.40
1.20
Sliding F.S.

1.00
0.80
0.60
ky=0.15
0.40
0.20
0.00
0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5
Kh (g)

FIGURE F-11. Sliding Factor of Safety vs. Horizontal Seismic Acceleration

F-12 CVO\081750013
NCHRP 12-70
DRAFT FINAL REPORT
SEISMIC ANALYSIS AND DESIGN OF RETAINING WALLS,
BURIED STRUCTURES, SLOPES, AND EMBANKMENTS

F.3.2.3 Earthquake Induced Permanent Displacement


The following parameters were used to evaluate the displacement of the revised retaining
wall:

kmax = Fpga PGA = 0.5


Fv S1 = 0.4
β = Fv S1/kmax = 0.8
Wall height (h) ≈ 26.3 feet
Vs = 1312 ft/sec

Since β = 1.2, the seismic design criteria for the site corresponds to a mid level design
spectrum. Based on Figure 7-16 and the procedure described in Section 7.5, the α factor for
the wall is determined to be 0.87, resulting in a kav equal to 0.84×0.5 = 0.42. The peak ground
velocity (PGV) for the site has been evaluated for the previous example and estimated to be
21.8 inches/second.
The following parameters have been used in Newmark equation for WUS and CEUS Soil
sites:
kav = α kmax = 0.42

ky / kmax = 0.15/ 0.42 = 0.36


PGV = 21.8 inches/second

Using these parameters and above equation, the mean earthquake-induced displacement
was estimated to be in the range of 4 inches. The mean plus one standard deviation (84
percent confidence level) displacement is about two times mean value, or 8 inches. This
displacement range could be judged acceptable. However, using the same parameters, the
displacement correlation given in the current AASHTO guidelines would result in a
displacement of about 15 inches.

CVO\081750013 F-13
APPENDIX G

Nonlinear Wall Backfill Response Analyses

CVO\081750013
Appendix G: Nonlinear Wall Backfill Response
Analyses

Current AASHTO guidelines use peak ground acceleration in conjunction with Mononobe-
Okabe analysis to compute seismic earth pressures for retaining walls, except for MSE walls,
where amplification factors as a function of peak ground acceleration are used, based on
studies by Segrestin and Bastick (1988). No adjustments for wall height are used. This
appendix provides further discussions on the effects of wall height on the ground motions
behind retaining structures. Both compliance between the backfill and non-linear soil
properties are considered.

G.1 Objectives, Approach, and Background


Whereas wall height studies are documented in Chapter 5, these studies were based on
scattering analyses for elastic soils, and did not include potential effects of impedance
contrasts, between foundation and fills, and the possible influence of non-linear soil
behavior.
In this study, the Segrestin and Bastick analyses are re-examined using the one dimensional,
equivalent linear computer program SHAKE to conduct response analyses and to perform
additional parametric studies. The objectives of these studies were to evaluate the effect of
wall height, input time histories, impedance contrast at foundation level, and acceleration
levels. Comparisons are then made on acceleration levels for design.
Segrestin and Bastick report on analytical and experimental studies performed on reduced-
scale and full-scale models in order to evaluate the dynamic response of MSE walls to
seismic excitation. Early studies on this topic were conducted by Richardson et al (1977)
using reduced scale experimental models. Other notable studies have been conducted by
Terre Armée Internationale (1976), Seed et al. (1981), Chida et al. (1982), and Udaka (1982).

• Chida used a half-scale model (3 meter high wall with a 1.4 meter sloping backfill). He
performed a series of tests on shaking table using a frequency range of between 2 and
7 Hz, for horizontal accelerations of 0.1g to 0.4g. The stresses in the reinforcing elements
due to shaking on a vibrating table were measured. The accelerations on top of the
reinforced soil mass were also measured in order to evaluate the amplification. Chida
reported an amplification factor of 2 for shaking frequencies between 2 to 5 Hertz.

• Seed et al. (1981) used analytical models to estimate the amplification in the reinforced
soil mass due to earthquake. Their study suggested amplification ratios between
0.85 and 1.20 for the maximum acceleration of 0.1g to 0.5g at the base of the wall.

• Udaka (1982) carried out finite element analyses on two reinforced earth walls using the
program SUPERFLUSH. The distribution of tensile force in reinforcement from
SUPERFLUSH analyses and measurements by Chida compared very well.

CVO\081750013 G-1
NCHRP 12-70
DRAFT FINAL REPORT
SEISMIC ANALYSIS AND DESIGN OF RETAINING WALLS,
BURIED STRUCTURES, SLOPES, AND EMBANKMENTS

G.2 Segrestin and Bastick (1988) Study


The study reported by Segrestin and Bastick (1988) was again based on SUPERFLUSH
models. Two wall heights (6 meters and 10.5 m) were examined in their study, both very
common configurations in practice. They used three different site soil conditions, medium
dense sands or firm soils (USGS Site Class D), very dense sands or stiff soils (USGS Site
Class C) and rock (USGS Site Class B), with shear wave velocities of 820 feet per second
(ft/sec), 1,300 ft/sec, and 3,300 ft/sec, respectively. They also used two recorded
acceleration time histories from 1957 San Francisco earthquake (Golden Gate S80E record)
and 1971 San Fernando earthquake (Castaic N21E record). Each time history was scaled to
peak accelerations of 0.1g, 0.2g, and 0.4g, resulting in six ground motions. The main focus of
Segrestin and Bastick research was the distribution of dynamic forces in reinforcement, as
well as peak acceleration on top of the backfill, and average acceleration over the height of
the wall.
Segrestin and Bastick observed that the distribution of dynamic forces along the
reinforcement was fairly uniform and the point of maximum tensile force didn’t change
significantly during